Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers roster was fortified at the trade deadline with the acquisitions of Kiké Hernández, Joe Kelly, Lance Lynn, Amed Rosario and Ryan Yarbrough, and the team also is awaiting the returns of multiple players in September.
While the Dodgers addressed their pitching staff and need for a right-handed hitter, backup catcher remained somewhat of a weak point on the roster amid Austin Barnes’ season-long struggles. Barnes continued to make occasional starts and has seen recent improvement at the plate.
When recently asked if the Dodgers explored trading for a catcher, manager Dave Roberts spoke in general terms of the front office regularly pursuing every possible avenue to improve the team.
Whether a move for organizational depth or potential postseason implications, the Dodgers signed Tucker Barnhart to a Minor League contract, according to Robert Murray of FanSided:
Source: Free-agent catcher Tucker Barnhart and the Los Angeles Dodgers are in agreement on a minor-league contract.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) August 30, 2023
Barnhart was designated for assignment by the Chicago Cubs on August 19 as a corresponding move to Miles Mastrobuoni getting recalled. The Cubs then released Barnhart two days later, making him a free agent who could sign with any team.
The Cubs signed Barnhart to a two-year, $6.5 million contract this past December. His deal included a $3.25 million player option for the 2024 season.
The 32-year-old largely struggled in his first season with the Cubs, batting .202/.285/.257 with three doubles, one home run and nine RBI over 44 games.
Barnhart was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 10th round of the 2009 MLB Draft. Barnhart made his MLB debut with the Reds in 2014 and played in parts of eight seasons with the team. He then spent all of 2022 with the Detroit Tigers prior to signing with the Cubs that winter.
Tucker Barnhart eligible for postseason with Dodgers
Because Barnhart is part of the Dodgers organization prior to the 8:59 p.m. PT deadline on August 31, that makes him eligible for the postseason.
Barnhart does not need to be added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster by Thursday’s deadline in order to be eligible to play for the team in the playoffs.
The Dodgers carried three catchers during the 2016 postseason with Barnes, Yasmani Grandal and Carlos Ruiz.
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