Ex-Reds catcher rumored to be on division rival's radar

Detroit Tigers catcher Tucker Barnhart
Detroit Tigers catcher Tucker Barnhart / David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds already have their backup catcher after signing Luke Maile to a one-year contract earlier this offseason. But a former Reds catcher, who many fans wanted to see back up Tyler Stephenson in 2023, may be headed to a division rival.

The latest Reds rumors involve former Cincinnati backstop Tucker Barnhart. After the Reds had discussed a possible reunion with Barnhart earlier this winter, it now appears as though the Chicago Cubs have their sights set on the 31-year-old platooning with Yan Gomes.

According to The Athletic (subscription required), the Cubs are looking at Barnhart, Roberto Perez, and another former Reds catcher, Curt Casali.

Ex-Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart rumored to be joining division rival.

The Chicago Cubs just signed former Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson to a massive contract after missing out on Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, and Xander Bogaerts. Adding Tucker Barnhart would arguably make Chicago's defense one of the best in the league.

Since the offseason began, the Cubs have lost Willson Contreras to another NL Central rival, the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals view Contreras as the replacement for longtime St. Louis backstop Yadier Molina. Chicago also added former MVP Cody Bellinger earlier this offseason.

The Cincinnati Reds, on the other hand, have been quite comfortable to sit back on watch the offseason unfold from the comfort of their couch. Free agents are getting big-time money this winter, but outside of signing University of Kentucky alum Luke Maile, Cincinnati has done very little.

These latest Reds rumors would sting a little bit. Tucker Banhart spent his entire major league career with the Cincinnati Reds until being traded to the Detroit Tigers last offseason. Barnhart had a down-year, both at the plate and behind it in 2023, but the veteran catcher is still beloved by the fans throughout Reds Country.

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