The Reds announced on Friday morning that they’ve signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension that will keep him around through at least the 2021 season. Barnhart’s new contract also contains a club option for the 2022 season. Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Barnhart will be guaranteed $16MM (Twitter link). That sum will paid out in the form of a $1.75MM signing bonus and annual salaries of $4MM (2018), $2.5MM (2019), $3.5MM (2020) and $3.75MM (2021). The 2022 option is valued at $7.5MM and comes with a $500K buyout, per Buchanan. “Tucker has made us proud on the field with his play and off the field with his community involvement,” said Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams in a statement announcing the contract. “He worked his way up through our system, improving every step of the way, and has established himself as an elite defensive catcher and a productive offensive player. Switch-hitting catchers who can impact the game defensively are tough to find.” Barnhart, a client of the Ballengee Group, was slated to reach free agency upon completion of the 2020 campaign, so this deal will lock in one of his free-agent seasons and give the Reds control over a second would-be free-agent year. He’d have been eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter, so Barnhart’s contract will also allow him to ever avoid needing to deal with said process. If the option is exercised, Barnhart will now reach the open market in advance of his age-32 season having earned a total of $22.5MM over the life of this contract.
Reds Sign Tucker Barnhart To Four-Year Extension
MLB Trade Rumors | Sep 22