Blue Jays: Darwin Barney part of group vying to bring MLB team to Portland
Former Toronto Blue Jays infielder Darwin Barney has joined the Portland Diamond Project in their quest to bring an MLB franchise to the City of Portland.
In 2017, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed that Portland was on the short-list to receive a team if the league expanded to 32 teams. Manfred took the stance that Portland was a strong possibility as the league needs another Western time zone team.
Darwin Barney is joining a Portland leadership group that features NFL Football Player Russell Wilson and his wife Ciara Wilson who are tabbed as investors and co-owners. Joining them is former Nike VP/GM Craig Cheek as the Founder and President and former Trail Blazers television play by play broadcaster Mike Barrett as the Managing Director.
According to the start-up’s website, Barney will assume the role of a baseball consultant along with former MLB’er Dale Murphy and Larry D’Amato.
Barney recently spoke about the timing of his latest venture:
"“The timing is real good for me, I never envisioned being an owner of a major-league team but I never envisioned being a major-league player, either."
"“You never know what your path is going to be, you just know what your passions are going to be. I quit playing to spend more time with my family. This came up just at the right time.”"
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Barney hung up his cleats at the conclusion fo the 2017 season with the Blue Jays. The former Gold Glove winner was acquired by the Blue Jays at the end of the 2015 campaign from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for prospect Jack Murphy. Barney would play 242 games for Toronto hitting .251/.298/.357 with 12 home runs during his time north of the border.
It is rumoured there are seven cities vying for a future MLB franchise if and when the league decides to expand. Portland definitely didn’t hurt their chances by adding a consummate professional and true pro like Barney to their team.
The diamond project just got a little shinier with the addition of some Barney gold.