The Chicago Cubs no longer have Willson Contreras. He is headed to the St. Louis Cardinals in what is a terrible move from a Chicago Cubs perspective. That is a very hard void to fill for a team looking to improve in 2023 and beyond.
It looked like they were going to trade him during the 2022 season but they decided not to. He went on a little farewell tour around town but ended up staying just so he could leave for nothing. It was a very bizarre move for the Cubs’ front office.
Now, Yan Gomes is expected to be the starting catcher going forward but the Cubs added a little bit of a wrinkle to that idea on Thursday. They signed Tucker Barnhart to a two-year deal with 2024 as a player option. There is a guarantee of 6.5 million but it can get as high as 9.5 million.
This is an amazing move for the Cubs. Gomes may or may not get more playing time but Barnhart is one of the best defensive catchers in the league. He isn’t a very impactful hitter most of the time but his ability to play his position defensively is as good as anyone in the league.
The Chicago Cubs made a great signing on Thursday with Tucker Barnhart.
The pitchers on this team will absolutely love throwing to Barnhart on a regular basis. He is so good at framing and keeping baseballs from getting past him. The entire Cubs team will benefit from having a catcher that can play that well defensively.
Anything that he gives them with his bat will just be an extra bit of goodness that wasn’t expected coming into the season.
The Cubs have shown a commitment to winning in 2023. They may or may not succeed with it but they aren’t signing Barnhart for no reason. If they didn’t think they had a chance at the postseason, they probably would have just saved their money.
When Barnhart plays, it may even be in late-inning defensive situations. With that said, he is sure to get his fair share of starts as well. The Cubs clearly aren’t playing any games when it comes to letting the league know that they are at least trying.