Cincinnati Reds, Tucker Barnhart agree to extension

By The Sports Xchange  |  Sept. 22, 2017 at 11:36 AM
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The Cincinnati Reds and catcher Tucker Barnhart agreed to a four-year contract extension through the 2021 season with a club option for 2022, the team announced Friday.

Terms were not disclosed, but the deal guarantees Barnhart $16 million, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. He will receive a $1.75 million signing bonus with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout.

The 26-year-old switch-hitting Barnhart would have been eligible for arbitration for the first time following this season while under team control through 2020.

"Tucker has made us proud on the field with his play and off the field with his community involvement," Reds general manager Dick Williams said in a statement. "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 is hitting .272 with six home runs and 42 RBIs in 113 games this season. He has made just one error this season, and leads all National League catchers and ranks second in the majors by throwing out 44 percent of baserunners attempting to steal.

The 10th-round pick in the 2009 first-year player draft has been the Reds' starting catcher since May 2016, when Devin Mesoraco suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.

Barnhart, a native of Brownsburg, Ind., led the Reds with 96 starts behind the plate last season while making 98 starts so far this year. He has followed a career-high 52-game errorless streak with an active 50-game errorless streak.

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