What are the Arizona Diamondbacks’ options at backup catcher?

Will the Diamondbacks stay with the player they know or look elsewhere?
Boston Red Sox v Chicago Cubs
Boston Red Sox v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
3 of 6

Tucker Barnhart

Tucker Barnhart probably did not have the 2023 he’d hoped for. Last winter, the Chicago Cubs signed him to a two-year, $6.5 million contract. However, Barnhart found himself struggling for playing time behind Yan Gomes and Miguel Amaya. He appeared in only 44 games.

Making matters worse, the 33-year-old lefty also had a strikeout problem (34.1%), which left him with a slashline of .202/.285/.257 (48 OPS+) in the second of two down years. His career slashline is .243/.319/.356 (80 OPS+).

He was DFA’d in August and finished the season in the Dodgers’ MiLB system. Still, here he is in action:

Barnhart’s defensive background is solid, as in two Gold Gloves solid, if declining a bit. His pitch framing is good, but his caught-stealing rates are down.

In case you’re interested, Barnhart’s got an interesting sample size at Chase Field: 14 games in which he earned an OPS+ of 75. So not awesome, but it could be worse. Ari Alexander has reported the D-backs are interested in Barnhart (as are the Houston Astros).

By the way, the Cubs must still pay his $3.25 million salary, less the prorated league minimum.