A reunion between the Reds and Tucker Barnhart makes too much sense not to happen

Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart
Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

According to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon, the Cincinnati Reds have been in contact with former catcher Tucker Barnhart about a potential return.

Sheldon notes that Barnhart would prefer to find a team where he could be the club's primary catcher, but after a sub-par performance in 2022, that could be a difficult task.

A reunion between the Reds and Barnhart seems like a forgone conclusion, doesn't it? After watching six different catchers find their way onto the roster in 2022, it's painfully obvious that finding a capable backup catcher should be Cincinnati's No. 1 priority this offseason.

Reds reunion with Tucker Barnhart makes too much sense not to happen.

Tucker Barnhart spent his entire career with the Cincinnati Reds until last season. Barnhart was drafted in the 10th-round of the 2009 MLB Draft and debuted in 2014. Devin Mesoraco's injuries coupled with Barnhart's outstanding defensive play elevated the Indiana native to the Reds primary catcher in 2017.

Barnhart has two Gold Gloves and has always been well-regarded with the way he handles the pitching staff. With such a group of starters, having a veteran like Barnhart behind the dish would be a tremenous asset for Cincinnati.

Barnhart has familiarity with the coaching staff and former teammate Tyler Stephenson. While the Reds seem unwilling to commit to moving Stephenson from behind the plate, a slew of injuries during his 2022 season has brought the idea to the table.

So what's Tucker Barnhart worth on the open market? Quite frankly, he's worth whatever a team is willing to pay. Last season, after being traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Detroit Tigers, his team-option of $7.5M was picked up.

It's unlikely that Barnhart would receive that type of money to a backup. Perhaps Jason Castro's 2021 contract (two-years/$7M) would be a nice target to shoot for. The Reds won't be the only team interested in Barnhart's services, but there might not be a better fit than a return to the Queen City.

Next. 3 Reds rookies who'll see decreased playing time in 2023. dark