Report: Cubs, Tucker Barnhart agree to contract

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs bolstered their defense again by agreeing to a contract with Gold Glove-winning catcher Tucker Barnhart.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the deal to the AP on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical. There was no immediate word on the length of the contract or the money.

Barnhart, who turns 32 on Jan. 7, is expected to back up Yan Gomes. Willson Contreras was the starting catcher for Chicago last season, but he signed an $87.5 million, five-year contract with St. Louis during free agency.

Barnhart returns to the NL Central after struggling in his only season with Detroit. He spent his first eight seasons with Cincinnati, winning Gold Gloves in 2017 and 2020.

The addition of Barnhart comes one day after the Cubs finalized a $177 million, seven-year contract with All-Star shortstop Dansby Swanson, who won his first Gold Glove this year. The team also added Gold Glove-winning center fielder Cody Bellinger on a $17.5 million, one-year contract.

Barnhart was selected by Cincinnati in the 10th round of the 2009 amateur draft. He made his big league debut when he appeared in 21 games with the Reds in 2014.

He was traded to Detroit in November 2021 and batted .221 with a homer and 16 RBIs in 94 games with the Tigers. He is a .245 career hitter with 52 homers and 277 RBIs in 838 games.

Batting champion Luis Arraez beats Marlins in salary arbitration

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — AL batting champion Luis Arraez won his salary arbitration case and will get a $6.1 million salary from the Miami Marlins, who acquired the infielder from the Minnesota Twins last month.

Miami argued for a $5 million salary during a hearing before John Stout, Mark Burstein and Scott Buchheit. Arraez received a raise from $2.2 million.

Arraez hit .316 with eight homers, 49 RBIs and a .795 OPS last year for Minnesota, starting 61 games at first base, 34 at designated hitter and 31 at second. The 25-year-old was traded on Jan. 20 for starting pitcher Pablo Lopez and a pair of prospects: infielder Jose Salas and outfielder Byron Chourio.

Arraez is eligible for free agency after the 2026 season.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first salary arbitration decision this year, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.