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Tucker Barnhart signs with the Los Angeles Dodgers

Tucker Barnhart #18 of the Chicago Cubs stands in the dugout prior to a game against the Boston Red Sox at Wrigley Field on July 14, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)– Former Brownsburg High School baseball star Tucker Barnhart has agreed to a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to Robert Murray of FanSided.

Barnhart was designated for assignment by the Chicago Cubs. 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 in December 2022. His deal included a $3.25 million player option for the 2024 season.

Barnhart hit .202/.285/.257 with a home run and three doubles in 123 plate appearances for the Cubs. 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. The 32-year-old is a career .243 hitter in 10 seasons, the first eight of which were with the Reds. Barnhart played for the Tigers in 2022.

Barnhart will add to the catching depth of a team hoping to avenge a wildly disappointing loss in the National League Division Series last year, a painful conclusion to a 111-win season.

The holder of two Gold Glove awards, Barnhart’s defensive performance was not as good as in the past as he held a -0.1 defensive WAR.

Barnhart will provide an alternative backup for the Dodgers as Austin Barnes, who has hit just .165/.235/.209 in limited action with the Dodgers this season. Will Smith, who has earned most of the playing time as the Dodgers’ backstop, has slugged 17 home runs.

Barnhart will be joining the Oklahoma City Dodgers on a minor-league pact and will be playoff eligible. If he is promoted, he will be reunited with another former Brownsburg Bulldog, Lance Lynn, who the Dodgers traded for earlier this season. Lynn has somewhat reinvented himself since coming over from the Chicago White Sox; through five starts with LA, Lynn owns a 2.03 ERA. Compare that to his numbers when he was a member of the Chicago, where he had an ERA of 6.47 in 21 starts.