The Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year, $16 million extension, according to a club announcement. The deal includes a $7.5 million club option (or $500k buyout) for 2022, bringing the maximum value to $23 million over five seasons.
Barnhart, 26, was set to hit free agency after the 2020 season, so today’s deal extends Cincinnati’s control by two seasons. It’s the second long-term deal handed out to a catcher by the Reds in three years, joining the four-year, $28 million deal that Devin Mesoraco signed in January of 2015.
Barnhart has posted the best year of his career for the Reds in 2017, hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and posting a 3.4 WAR for the year. He has become the club’s primary backstop in the wake of Mesoraco’s injuries over the past three seasons and appears to be a lock to see significant playing time over the life of his new deal.
Barnhart, a 10th-round pick in the 2009 draft, owns a career .257/.328/.366 line with 17 homers and 112 RBI in 330 games over four major-league seasons. He joins Joey Votto as the only Reds signed through the 2021 season.