Diamondbacks add veteran catcher Tucker Barnhart, LHP Logan Allen to MiLB deals

Jan 2, 2024, 8:14 PM

Tucker Barnhart...

Tucker Barnhart formerly of the Chicago Cubs in action against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field on June 13, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks signed catcher Tucker Barnhart and left-handed pitcher Logan Allen to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training, Triple-A Reno announced on Tuesday.

Barnhart jumps into the ring for Arizona’s backup catcher job behind Gabriel Moreno along with incumbent Jose Herrera and reported minor league signee Ronaldo Hernandez. Seby Zavala was traded to the Seattle Mariners in the deal for third baseman Eugenio Suarez.

Barnhart has the most MLB experience of the group having played 881 games since his debut in 2014, competing for the Cincinnati Reds (2014-21), Detroit Tigers (2022) and Chicago Cubs (2023). The veteran has a pair of Gold Glove awards from his time in Cincinnati as one of the premier defensive backstops of the late 2010s.

Barnhart — who turns 33 this weekend — was teammates with Diamondbacks left-handed starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez in Detroit. Barnhart was Rodriguez’s primary battery mate, catching 74 of his 91 innings pitched that season. Rodriguez had a 3.65 ERA with Barnhart catching him.

The Cubs signed Barnhart ahead of the 2023 season, and he played 43 games before getting released in August.

Behind the plate, Barnhart has a career caught stealing percentage of 31%. He led the league at 44% in 2017, although he caught 19% of would-be stealers in 2023. Statcast still rates him as a plus framer (three framing runs).

Barnhart bats from the left side and has a career .243/.319/.356 slash line. Last year, he slashed .202/.285/.257 with a home run and three doubles in 109 at-bats. He has had an OPS over .700 three times but not since 2019.

The backstop also had to pitch to NL MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. last year and reacted accordingly:

Allen, 26, was considered a top 100 prospect entering 2019 with the San Diego Padres. The Boston Red Sox drafted him in 2015 and traded him the following offseason to San Diego in the package for closer Craig Kimbrel.

The southpaw made eight appearances for the Padres in 2019 but was traded again, this time to Cleveland in a three-team deal.

Allen pitched in 22 games for Cleveland between 2019-22 before getting designated for assignment. He spent 2023 in Triple-A with the Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners.

Allen has a career 5.89 ERA and a 5.62 FIP in 96.1 MLB innings.

He threw a low-90s four-seam fastball, slider, cutter, sinker, changeup and curveball in the majors, according to Statcast.

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