Report: Chicago Cubs agree to deal with Tucker Barnhart

Detroit Tigers v Oakland Athletics - Game Two
Detroit Tigers v Oakland Athletics - Game Two / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs have reportedly found their catcher as the team reached an agreement with free-agent catcher Tucker Barnhart.

Barnhart's deal with the Cubs is for two years with the second year being a player option.

Barnhart has been on the Cubs' radar in each of the past two offseasons and with Willson Contreras now with the St. Louis Cardinals, the team was in search of a platoon partner with veteran Yan Gomes. Barnhart, a two-time Gold Glove winner from his time with the Cincinnati Reds, has seen his defensive metrics dip in recent seasons and would seemingly go against the profile of the type of catcher the Cubs are believed to prefer at the position. It is worth mentioning that metrics do not tell the full story for catchers and it's possible the Cubs feel confident in Barnhart's ability to manage a pitching staff.

Offensively, Barnhart is a switch-hitter but struggled considerably with the Detroit Tigers last season. Barnhart slashed .221/.287/.267 in 308 plate appearances in 2022 with a .253 wOBA and 63 wRC+. It seems likely that Barnhart will see a bulk of the starts at catcher when the Cubs are facing a right-handed starting pitcher. For his career, Barnhart has a slash line of .251/.328/.377 against right-handed pitchers with a .305 wOBA+ and 86 wRC+.

Next. Lucas Luetge is a perfect option for the Cubs . dark

Cubs fans won't like to hear this but the team does not value offense at the position. That is the reason why there was never any serious attempt to bring Contreras back. In regard to the stability of the Cubs' pitching staff, the pairing of Gomes and Barnhart at the catching position will be a much more valuable upgrade than what Contreras would provide.