The off-season and the free-agency season began Sunday night with the end of the World Series, a resounding sweep of the Tigers by the Giants. The Cubs have one free agent, reliever Shawn Camp, and team president Theo Epstein said the team would like to keep him. Players no longer have to “file” for free agency, and they can sign with new teams beginning at 11 p.m. Central Time Friday.
Of more immediate concern, Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney is a finalist for a Rawlings Gold Glove. ESPN2 will announce the awards Tuesday night during a Gold Glove show at 8:30 p.m. Central Time. Barney is the lone Cubs finalist as Alfonso Soriano did not make the cut. Barney is fresh off of winning the Fielding Bible Award for top second baseman in the major leagues. Managers and coaches vote for Gold Gloves. Here are the finalists, beginning with NL second basemen:
Barney, Aaron Hill of Arizona and Brandon Phillips of Cincinnati. Phillips is the defending Gold Glove winner, but Barney ranked higher in almost all defensive metrics, standard and advanced.
NL first basemen: Freddie Freeman (Atlanta), Adam LaRoche (Washington) and Joey Votto (Cincinnati).
NL third basemen: Chase Headley (San Diego), Aramis Ramirez (Milwaukee) and David Wright (New York Mets). Old friend Ramirez talked annually in spring training as a Cub of winning a Gold Glove, and now he has a chance.
NL shortstops: Zack Cozart (Cincinnati), Ian Desmond (Washington), Jose Reyes (Miami) and Jimmy Rollins (Philadelphia).
NL left fielders: Ryan Braun (Milwaukee), Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado) and Martin Prado (Atlanta).
NL center fielders: Michael Bourn (Atlanta), Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh) and Drew Stubbs (Cincinnati).
NL right fielders: Jay Bruce (Cincinnati), Andre Either (L.A. Dodgers) and Jayson Heyward (Atlanta).
NL catchers: Yadier Molina (St. Louis), Miguel Montero (Arizona) and Carlos Ruiz (Philadelphia).
NL pitchers: Bronson Arroyo (Cincinnati), Mark Buehrle (Miami) and Clayton Kershaw (L.A. Dodgers).