Chicago Cubs News: Grading the team's offseason additions

Chicago Cubs Introduce Dansby Swanson
Chicago Cubs Introduce Dansby Swanson / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Tucker Barnhart: B

The departure of Willson Contreras to the rival Cardinals was painful but warranted considering he was not traded at the deadline despite everyone in the world expecting him to. Although it’s virtually impossible to replace Contreras's offensive production in the form of a catcher, the Cubs improved at the plate in other ways with Swanson, Bellinger, and Mancini. According to recent reports from the Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, there was a riff between Contreras and manager David Ross's coaching staff about his approach to the game and how he handled the pitching staff. With the pitch clock in play this year, it is more imperative than ever to have your catchers on the same page with the team to save yourself from unneeded strike calls, so perhaps Contreras's departure was a blessing in disguise.

The main void left by Contreras however was the need for another veteran catcher capable of handling backstop duties alongside Yan Gomes, and the Cubs secured that with Tucker Barnhart. It’s not a flashy signing, but one that was needed to bolster the catching depth, especially with top catching prospect Miguel Amaya prone to injury. The Cubs' emphasis on run prevention was also apparently a main factor in Barnhart choosing to sign with the North Side.