In a move that seems to have surprised everyone on the planet, the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers have reportedly completed a trade that is sending 2-time Gold Glove catcher Tucker Barnhart to Detroit in exchange for prospect Nick Quintana. Jon Heyman of MLB Network first reported that Barnhart was on the move, while Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report that it was Nick Quintana coming to Cincinnati.

There are a few layers here. First is that the Tigers are seemingly going to either pick up the option for Tucker Barnhart in 2022 at $7.5M, or they already have a deal for a different contract in place with Barnhart. They wouldn’t acquire him to simply let him walk. This deal opens up the catcher position, at least as it seems now, for Tyler Stephenson.

What this also does is save the Reds money. We aren’t talking about the money they chose not to pay Tucker Barnhart in 2022. It seems obvious now that they were going to decline his option. But they do save the money they would have paid to buy out that option – $500,000. While the 2022 minimum salary is not yet determined because it will be a part of the new collective bargaining agreement, the odds are good that $500,000 will probably cover at least 80% of the league minimum salary. Cincinnati was able to recoup that by finding someone who was willing to pay Barnhart for 2022. If they had no plans to pick up his option this was a smart play by the front office.

As for the return, the Reds are getting infield prospect Nick Quintana. The 23-year-old 2nd round pick from 2019 has struggled as a professional. The year in which he was drafted he hit just .194/.273/.280 for rookie-level Connecticut and Low-A West Michigan. This past season he played in Low-A Lakeland where he hit .196/.329/.346 (he also played in 7 rehab games in the Florida Complex League where he went 2-25).

Suffice to say – Nick Quintana has really, really struggled to hit beyond college. He played in the Low-A Southeast this past season, so we can get some additional information on him that we generally can’t get on minor leaguers. He had an outside of the zone swing rate of 29%, which would be solid if he did that in the big leagues. His max exit velocity was 105.2 MPH. That’s not great, but it’s not terrible, either.

Nick Quintana walks a lot. His strikeout rate is about league average. Where he struggled in 2021 was hitting for power and hitting for average. When he made contact, he simply didn’t do much with it. You can see all of his stats here.

Now as for what this deal tells you….. you can make up your own mind about that. But what the Reds official statement tells you, well, it’s not great if you were thinking that the team was worried about winning instead of worrying about money (which I imagine 99.5% of you already knew).

“But going into 2022, we must align our payroll to our resources and continue focusing on scouting and developing young talent from within our system,” Reds General Manager Nick Krall said in a statement from the organization.

Payroll. Resources. Cincinnati Reds fever – catch it!

175 Responses

    • 2020ball

      lollll, this comment cracked me up.

    • James Elliott

      I dont mind trading Tucker but to get a 24 yr old still in A ball, & never hitting about 200? for a 2 time gold glove catcher who doesnt kill you with the bat? C’mon. they traded our closer last yr for a guy they released before the season? they traded for Archie Bradley only to release him. Now this? Cant blame Castellanos for bolting. Miley is gone too. Im sure they will give up on Senzel too. At least the Marlins won a world series before they tanked. Its tough being a Reds fan.

  1. Bet on Red

    Not even 24 hours after the end of the world series. Was not waiting at all.

    • Alan Horn

      I am almost afraid to look at the board for fear of what they have done next.
      I just have no confidence in this front office all the way down to the manager.
      Maybe I shouldn’t include the scouting dept.

  2. burtgummer01

    Look out Pirates the Reds are coming

  3. Mark Moore

    So this saved the buy-out money and netted us … something …

    I have no idea if there will be baseball in 2022. I’m happy we’ll see more of TySteve behind the plate. But aside from a lightening strike or three, I don’t see us finishing above the middle of the pack. And, as noted in the comments, we may just see a Wade Miley trade this week along similar lines.

    • 2020ball

      eh, maybe. But this feels more like a decision to try and free up payroll for a guy like Miley, and it still looks like move that amounts to just giving up a player for basically nothing (i.e. Iglesias), seemingly just to free up money. Unfortunately this is something I’ve come to expect from this ownership group. Very frustrating for a fan of defensive-first types, and I loved watching Tucker in his years with the Reds. Amen to a very talented baseball player, and I look forward to watching where he takes his career from here on. One of my favorite players I’ve ever watched.

  4. burtgummer01

    Shorter Krall quote: you shouldn’t get your hopes up because payroll is being cut further and the savings are headed right for Castellini’s pocket.

    • Melvin

      Here comes a new vacation home for Big Bob. 🙂 At least David Bell can’t use Barnhart as the main catcher anymore. That’s the best thing about this deal. I’m sure many agree.

  5. Harold

    I would have thought we could have done better than this for a Gold Glove catcher. If we are going to let Wade and Nick walk then we are moving back to a rebuild. The Reds need to show fans that we are going to spend money and be competitive or sell the team to someone who will compete. We were just starting to make moves that made sense and now we make a move that looks like we are not going to try to put a good team on the field.

    • Jim Walker

      They were under the gun to get this done ahead of the option call date which is less than a week away. The Tigers issued a glowing statement but we still don’t know if they intend to roll the option regardless or try to negotiate TB down to a lower AAV but higher total take over several years and if they can’t pay the buyout to set him free.

    • Alan Horn

      Totally agree. Especially the first sentence.

  6. LDS

    Looks like it didn’t take long to see where the Reds are headed. But hey that’s ok. That took care of several FO people that are part of the Castellini realm. That matters more than winning.

  7. Votto4life

    Not unexpected, but a bad sign they are not even risking the buy out costs. We made be headed for a bloodbath this off season. Goodbye Nick. Goodbye Miley for sure. Probably Sonny Gray and more.

    It’s going to be a rough winter. Time to start planning for 2024.

    • Chris M

      I’m not sure I’d look at it that way. Why would you give $500K away for absolutely nothing, if you can take a flyer on a kid who may do something, and even if he doesn’t, it’s not a loss of any kind. Many of us wanted them to let Barnhart go. No way did I want Bell to have a choice again, on who catches. Great move by the Reds here.

    • Alan Horn

      Unless a lot of prospects pan out quickly, 2024 won’t be any better. I just don’t see the desire to get better. The game plan is to get cheaper, not win.

    • Jim Walker

      You would have held out for more but then paid the 500K buyout vs rolling the option if a better deal didn’t come along? Fair enough but I’m glad it is settled.

      My suspicion is they shopped him this time last season with the thought they could have saved about $3m this season by keeping Casali instead but got no real interest. So knowing the situation they just went on and cleared the deck saving the buyout less the minor league salary of Quintara.

      Teams and their fans tend to overvalue their players until they actually shop them.

    • Melvin

      The only good thing about a complete rebuild would be that we already have many major league young stars ready to play e.g. India, Stephenson, Barrero etc. along with Votto who isn’t going anywhere. David Bell won’t have a choice but to play them…..unless he plays some “past their prime” waiver pickups, which of course, he just might. lol

      • greenmtred

        Such an interesting narrative. Bell, of course, did play India and Stephenson. The Reds were in contention most of the year, and many managers would be hesitant to play untried rookies in that situation. Like everybody else here, I have high hopes for Barrero, but he didn’t–in limited action–kick in the door. Bell, like any manager, will play the best players available absent directives from the front office. He might disagree with you about the identity of those players.

      • Alan Horn

        Any team at any level in any sport should get better as the season progresses and should be at their best at the end of the season. The Reds got worse at the end.

      • greenmtred

        Alan: As I recall, the Reds got worse, then got better again. I don’t disagree with your prescription, but I think it’s more aspirational than not: Injuries and fatigue impose limits on improvement.

  8. Kevin

    This feels like a prelude to salary dumps. I think they pickup Miley’s option the trade him for prospects. Sonny Gray is likely gone. There is another 20mil saved. Nick walks. 36mil. This is going to be most disappointing.

  9. Woodrow

    We can only hope Nick Quintana one day makes this known as “Little Pasta Trade”.

  10. Mike McSorley

    Moving forward, how ’bout Kyle Farmer as your #2 catcher? He does have some experience here. Concentrate on it now and he may provide an option behind the plate without tying up another roster spot by someone who may or may not produce.

    • LDS

      Can’t be backup catcher . Odds are he’s the starting SS

      • Brad

        Farmer could do both at the same time to save money.

    • Greenfield Red

      Another sub .200 hitting 3B will fit right in.

    • Melvin

      Those were my thoughts months ago when Barnhart was not only playing great defense, coming off a GG, but also hitting really well at the time. The time to trade him was then if they weren’t going to keep him. It would have brought the biggest return. Farmer to backup catcher and nearly everywhere else. Barrero to SS full time.

  11. Magnum 44

    Everyone acts like there shocked this happened. I hope Tucker has success in his future endeavors, but this is good business even if this prospect doesn’t work out I am so tired of watching people leave this franchise for nothing. I love Tucker but this is definitely a case where this is an addition by subtraction.

    • burtgummer01

      Did you even bother to read the whole article ? Obviously not

      • Magnum 44

        I read the whole article and it pertains to money……meaning they can’t allocate 7.5 million to a backup catcher which I am fine with, but instead of letting him walk at least they got something for him if you read anything I wrote.

      • Chris

        You asked question, and then answered your own question. What was your point? This was a legitimate business move, when they were going to eat $500K anyway. Don’t be rude to people just because you disagree with them.

    • Votto4life

      I don’t see it as a bad or unexpected move. For it to happen a day after the World Series ends makes it seem the Reds are desperate to shred payroll and not even willing to risk paying the buy out.

      The Reds have a core of good young players and they have a lot of money coming off the books in the next two of three years. A re-build would make some sense here. The problem is I don’t have confidence in Nick Krall to successfully manage a re-build.

      • burtgummer01

        But going into 2022, we must align our payroll to our resources and continue focusing on scouting and developing young talent from within our system
        Is the statement that says it all.
        90+ losses incoming

    • Bubba Woo

      How is this good business? You gave away a top 5 defensive, top 15 overall Catcher to save 8 mil, just like last year, when they gave a way a proven closer to save 10 mil (and then wound up spending more than that trying to find BP help during the season). This isn’t about giving Stephenson ABs. They could have kept Barnhart and had Stephenson catch 80 games, DH 50 games, and backup Votto for 20 games at 1B. What is our reward (THE CUSTOMER) for our loyalty? After supporting them thru a 5 year rebuild where the Castellinis pocketed cash, we got a .500 team in 2020 that got in the Playoffs solely due to Covid, and a 2021 team that crashed and burned due to their cheapness leaving them stuck with the worst BP in Baseball. Now there going to try and sell us on a rebuild? With Winker, Stephenson, Greene, Lodolo, and India all under team control for the next 5 years? Ya, those Castellinis are great businessmen…

  12. CI3J

    When I read the headline, my first thought was “Yes! Let the youth movement begin!”

    Then I read Krall’s statement, and I thought “Oh no, they are literally going to be giving away everything and not caring about returns.”

    Guess we’ll see. Interesting opening move, anyway.

  13. Jimbo44CN

    Seems awfully short sighted and well, stupid to me. Yes, Stevenson is good, but who is the backup? Except for the guy they just drafted who seems like he could develop into a good catcher, the others in the minors are not that good. And I really think Stevenson should move to first base as Joey gets closer to the end of his career. So what did they save, 500000? Chump change on the ml level.

    • MFG

      Corky Miller…………….LOL!
      I would have preferred to see the Reds pick up Tucker’s contract then trade him during the season to a team that lost a catcher to an injury. Atlanta is a good example in 2021.

  14. Optimist

    Kinda sorta a meh deal – good that they did it and saved a little bit, but seems like we already have A-AA rosters full of Quintanas. A minor gripe, but would have preferred 2 or 3 teenage lottery flyers to what seems a low ceiling AAAA type.

    Also indicates the rest of the league didn’t seem too interested in Tucker, which is interesting in itself. Will be very interesting it the Tigers flip him mid-season.

    • Votto4life

      Quintanas likely will go the way of Roe Ramirez by the end of Spring Training.

  15. scotly50

    “But going into 2022, we must align our payroll to our resources and continue focusing on scouting and developing young talent from within our system,” Reds General Manager Nick Krall said in a statement from the organization.”

    This statement shows the Reds have no intention in competing. The owners are just in it for the money. If this holds true and they do not spend money on bettering the team, I will not follow them.

    • Hunt4RedsOct

      I read that as ” we can’t spend $7m on a back up catcher. We developed Tyler, now we have to let him play.”

  16. Chris Morris

    We may love Tucker, but production as the only real measure, and he ranked 30th ish in hitting. Tyler was 13th. $7M+ for a bench player makes zero logical sense. Best of luck to him, but this move does not seriously hurt Reds in 2022.

    • Kevin H

      Yes because having a two time gold glove catcher is over rated said no one.

    • Votto4life

      I don’t think this trade by itself is so
      critical, I think most people here sense that it is just the beginning of another Fire sale. I think they are probably right.

      I’ll be happy to be proven wrong.

  17. AJ from Hamilton

    The Krall statement does suggest that more is coming, perhaps beginning with a Miley trade, then perhaps Sonny G. But if some of the money recouped were to go into long-term contracts for Winker, Castillo, maybe Mahle, I wouldn’t mind so much. (No real hope they can keep Nick C., but perhaps signing a Soler, Rosario, or Conforto to take his place isn’t out of the question.) The Reds can get creative the way the Tampas and A’s do and still field a highly competitive team. I just wish MLB operated more along the lines of the NBA and NFL, with a salary floor and cap. But that will never happen, given the labor history of MLB.

    • Jim Walker

      I like the NHL model better because baseball uses about the same number of players. What MLB did with the restructuring of the minor league system and draft actually aligns somewhat with North American hockey development. The big difference obviously is that hockey has ony 2 true specialty players (goalies) while MLB has 12-14 and of course that ripples down the development chain.

  18. west larry

    Is this what they meant by money ball? Trade Off a lot of your players and pocket the money?

  19. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    Terrible move, they had the perfect tandem at catching and now they are going to put that whole or at least a huge part of that responsibility on TS.

    The Reds pitching staff will suffer, the stability Barnhart provided often is taken for granted. Good luck Tucker, on a sane team, you would have been rewarded for all you have done for this franchise, but in the bizarro world of the Reds, you get dealt for practically nothing. This franchise and its owner are truly third rate garbage. This team is regressing.

    This team’s depth will soon be destroyed in the coming months with more penny pinching unwise moves. It’s hard to root for stupid and cheap.

    • Jim Walker

      Saw a Barnhart quote on Twitter this afternoon that the thing that surprised (impressed) him most about Stephenson was how quickly he had earned the respect of the pitching staff.

  20. SultanofSwaff

    Not unexpected. If Krall’s intention is to further align the payroll in favor of locking up the core that is developing, then I’m on board. Next up, Gray…….eat some salary, toss in a prospect outside the top 5, and go get the cost controlled OF you need to replace Nick C.

    • burtgummer01

      Well at least my mind is made up early this year on if I was gonna trek to Cincinnati.I have to believe a lot of others will feel the same way once the purge is done

      • Redsvol

        went once in July and once in August – had a great time. The team is so much more competitive than if has been the last 8 years.

        Unfortunately, during a really competitive year and with no COVID restrictions in late summer, there were way too many available seats in GABP for as good as the team was last year. The Reds need your support! So many good young players and more arriving monthly!

  21. TR

    I always liked Tucker Barnhart, wish him well. He’s never been regarded as much of a hitter but I recall many occasions he came through in the clutch and his catching skills are about as good as any. It’s positive that Tyler Stephenson will be the #1 catcher. He’s a ‘meet the ball’ natural hitter who doesn’t overswing.

  22. JB

    I’m going to wait until I see what else they do this off season before I judge them and their direction. This move could go in 2 different directions. Time will tell which one and let’s hope it’s the direction we all are hoping for.

    • Votto4life

      I understand but if you add this move to
      What they did last off season there is not a lot of reason for optimism I’m afraid.

  23. Bryant

    I share the cynicism, but are we sure this is not just saving money for an agreement with Castellanos?

    • RedsMonk65

      Would that it were so.

      And if Nick goes, maybe get Adam Duvall’s agent on the phone ….?

      • Jimbo44CN

        I admit he did pretty well in the series, but he is another true 3 outcome player. HR, strikeout, walk. Thats it. And we already had him. Personally I liked Adam,but not enough to sign him again.

      • Alan Horn

        Do you really think the Reds will pay to get Duvall?

      • Stock

        Just thinking here but Adam Duval did lead the NL in RBI. Seems to me he was more than just a 3 outcome player, which isn’t bad. He was clutch, including in the post season.

        With men in scoring position his line was fantastic:


      • RedsMonk65

        We desperately need some power from the right side of the plate (assuming Nick is gone, and maybe even if he isn’t). Most free-agent OFs will presumably be out of the Reds’ stated price range. So, Duvall, I think, could supply that RH power, and he’s not going to command a Castellanos-type contract. Good defender, too.

        Anyway, that was my thinking. Given the Reds’ needs, their payroll stinginess, and who will be available, I would certainly welcome Duvall back. Who else have we got as an OF? Aquino? Naquin? Akiyama? DeShields? Certainly not Senzel.

    • burtgummer01

      But going into 2022, we must align our payroll to our resources and continue focusing on scouting and developing young talent from within our system
      Says it all

      • Votto4life

        I agree. That comment is very concerning. They are not even pretending that they are trying to improve the club.

    • Bubba Woo

      Nope. Barnhart is only the first. They’ll dump Gray, Castillo, and Miley this Winter too, and try to sell us on rebuilding with prospects. Same as 2013, where they did the same thing, and we waited 7 years til we were even a .500 team. The Castellinis should sell the Reds for the 1 Billion + they would get for it, to one of the many Billionaires who would take it off their hands, and focus themselves on the one thing they do well, selling lettuce.

    • Alan Horn

      If it is, I would be in agreement. The net savings is what Tucker was paid this season. The 7 million would include added money to what he would have made next season. I have a gut feeling it has nothing to do with Castellanos.

    • oklared

      Yep bring back Duvall. When he was here many were saying trade him he would not even start on winning team. I liked him then but would pass on big contract now these years later.

  24. MK

    A great move by the front office. Tyler needs to play 5 days a week and even if you are the Dodgers it makes little sense to pay $7 million plus to a 2 game a week back-up catcher. If they got a bucket of batting practice balls and it sounds close, it was better than letting him walk with a half million for nothing.

    Mark Koloszvary is ready defensively and from what I saw on the milb computer games Chuckie Robinson looks like a descent back-up prospect as well.

    Wade Miley goes I am sure he realizes his rebound years have come when Johnson is his pitching coach.

    • Alan Horn

      Koloszvary is a good defensive catcher. The problem is he didn’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag at AA. If Stephenson goes down, it will just like having the pitcher hit even though we will likely have the DH.

      • MK

        Tucker was not a great minor league hitter either or major league for that matter. Mark gained valuable experience with Team USA and if you will recall was off to a very hot start when it was interrupted for the Olympics.

  25. Alan Horn

    A good catcher gone for nothing. It was basically a salary dump. I would expect Castellanos, Miley and Wilson to walk also. You would think they would at least have gotten a RH OF instead. I don’t expect the Reds to spend any money or win going forward. Any talent they get will have to be home grown.
    I am leaning to not subscribing to and just watching the Braves for free.

  26. LeRoy

    Hey everbody, The Reds have just made an improvement to one of their weaknesses.
    They have someone who outhit Suarez this past year. We all know how cheap the Reds are, but I’m still optimistic for the future. I hope they keep Miley but even without him the pitching can be more than solid. With Nick gone in the outfield if Senzel can stay injury free the outfield will still be decent. Good young pitching and the development of the youth movement should make the Reds exciting to watch for the next several years in spite of bad management, but not poor management because they really know how to give away players and keep money.

    • Votto4life

      Do you really believe this team will be better without Barnhart, Miley and Castellanos?

      • MK

        I missed the Miley and Castleanos news.

    • greenmtred

      He had a higher batting average than Suarez, but he was hitting low-A pitching, and he does not have Suarez’s power. Suarez, based upon his final two months, may be more like the Suarez of a few years ago. It looks to me as if the Reds traded Tucker for him because just giving Tucker to the Tigers would have looked bad. All of that said, I’m not throwing myself off of a cliff just yet: The off-season has just begun. I’ll wait until the season is well underway.

      • LWBlogger2

        I think you’re likely right about Suarez. I think the move back to SS was a disaster for him. Had to get back into the defensive responsibilities there and also likely worked a lot on his defense there at the expense of offensive reps (video, cage time indoors, etc).

  27. Stock

    It was a given that the Reds would not exercise Barnhart’s option so I don’t know why people are so negative already. I still feel that the Reds will exercise Miley’s option. If the Reds do decide to go the rebuild route I hope they are all in. If not I hope they are all in on winning. I tire from this 2/3rd in garbage.

    Either trade Miley (after they claim his option), Castillo and Gray this offseason or resign Castellanos and get some bullpen help.

    If all out either extend Winker or trade him. If all out wait until Moustakas and Suarez rebuild their trade value and trade them in June/July.

    Either way sign India to a 6 year contract with 2 or 3 options. Either way hand SS over to Barrero.

  28. Old-school

    Why would the Tigers- a ne’erdwell team just beginning to turn the corner in a rebuild add payroll to the tune of $7.5 million when they have no chance to win in 2022? A good catcher to mentor some good young pitching is one reason. But, the Tigers may have just shown that a salary cap floor is coming and Tucker is a perfect addition to help the Tigers meet that new floor in a way that also helps their pitching staff develop in 2022.

    Miley could be a perfect solution for low payroll successful teams looking to meet the new salary floor and looking to win- A’s, Rays,Cleveland, Twins.

    Maybe the Orioles could take on Shogo’s contract and a low A prospect and the Reds get back a bucket of baseballs and the Orioles oldest worst AAA 3b since the reds seem to collect those.

    • Jim Walker

      We also don’t know that the Tigers are actually going to pay Barnhart the $7.5m this year. There are still around 96 hours to the option call deadline. Maybe they will negotiate him down to a lower AAV but a greater total amount over a number of years or failing that just pay him the $550K to go away.

      From their point of view, they have also made a problem go away as Quintana was the #47 overall pick in the 2019 draft (2 better than Jesse Winker in his draft) and looks like possible bust.

      • Mark Moore

        Yep. Almost surprised we didn’t trade him straight up for cash.

      • Old-school


        Reds could have done the same thing. I bet barnhart is their catcher because they dont have one .

        I dont know that a 24 yo .190 hitter in low A is an organizational problem that needs to be addressed. Thats like 95% of prospects

        Tucker is in detroit to mentor the young pitching and perhaps hit the new mlb minimum payroll

    • Stock

      Tigers payroll last year was $80 million. Well over any floor if one is indeed coming.

      • Old-school

        I disagree

        Luxury tax over $200 million

        We will see

  29. Steven Ross

    Can’t say I’m surprised TB was dealt but definitely underwhelmed by the return. Stoke level isn’t high but I’ll reserve judgement until I see how the roster pans out. If they don’t pick up Miley, I’ll know where we’re probably headed.

    • TR

      Money saved and clearing the deck for TS is primary. Not the acquisition of Quintana.

  30. Mark Moore

    In other catching news, Buster Posey is hanging up his cleats.

  31. RedsGettingBetter

    Trying to catching the plan of FO, in this case it is like something is better than nothing, simple, there is no money so the Barnhart option wasn’t to be exercised, no return was gonna get and 500k being out of the wallet, now instead, at least, they get a player to fill a minor league roster spot and maybe save those $500k as Doug wrote. We should continue to watch the next moves but be prepared for anything because it seems to be a disguised rebuild

    • Votto4life

      Baseball is really making it hard to keep me engaged.

      I hate the shift, the strike outs, the ghost runners. I miss stolen bases, bunts and the hit and run.

      I am sixty years old and have only followed one team. That team seems to have no
      Interest in winning. It’s becoming more and more likely that I won’t see another world championship in my life time.

      I became very discouraged last year when all the Shortstop options came off the board. I was really hoping the Reds would sign Marcus Semien. Had they done so they would have likely made the play-offs. But no, the Reds signed no one.

      The front office doesn’t even pretend they are trying to improve the club anymore. All they talk about is the virtues of slashing the payroll.

      I am pretty discourage with this team at the moment.

      • LDS

        66 and I plan to be around until sometime after the Reds win their next World Series. I think that’ll likely make me immortal.

      • west larry

        76 , and it looks like I would rquire a mirical to get a championship before I leae this planet.

      • greenmtred

        75, and I’ll just say that it would have taken a miracle for the Braves to win the WS this year.

      • Alan Horn

        I am 73 and agree with everything you said.

  32. AMDG

    Dump salary = GOOD

    Open up more playing time for Stephenson = GOOD

    Possibly indicate a willingness to play better, younger players (a la Jose Barrero) = GOOD

    Get a lottery ticket on a prospect = OK

    • Alan Horn

      Not winning anytime in the foreseeable future = bad.

      • AMDG

        I’m not sure giving your better hitting catcher more AB’s necessarily equates to losing?

      • TR

        That’s what Braves fans were saying most of last season when the Mets led the NLE most of the year.

      • Alan Horn

        Your best hitting catcher doesn’t have body size to be effective defensively. Especially as he ages. He is tall and lanky. His arm is average at best and he doesn’t have a quick release. That being said, he does hit well .
        He is much better suited to play 1B and catch less than half the time while also DHing to save wear and tear on his body.

      • Alan Horn

        The huge difference between the Reds and the Braves is that the Braves don’t stay down. They make the necessary changes to improve which usually results in their winning their division. The Reds on the other hand do very little to improve the team during the season and the off season.

  33. Gonzo Reds

    Salvo one this off-season for our cheap a$$ owner. And for a 3B. We certainly don’t have enuf of those… geez! So embarrassed to tell others I’m a Reds fan.

    • Angelo

      Could not agree more! Cheap cheap cheap! First words out of Krall’s mouth “ we have to align our payroll with our resources” I am sick and tired of hearing this BS over the past 30 plus years.

  34. Matt McWax

    The Reds could be in a similar position as the Rays were when they traded Blake Snell for pitchers Luis Patino and Cole Wilcox, and catchers Blake Hunt and Francisco Mejia. The Reds may trade a starter, though won’t get Snell’s return. I point this out because Mejia is the type of backup the Reds should be looking for. Going into 2021, he had 362 plate appearances and accumulated -.1 WAR over four seasons but had shown some flashes, mainly on the offensive side.

    Mejia put up 1.4 fWAR in 2021 in 277 pa as backup to Mike Zunino (who was massive with 4.5 fWAR in only 375 pa). It’s hard to believe that was higher than Tucker’s best fWAR (1.2 in 2021). I’m skeptical of WAR for catcher defense. Baseball Reference had Tucker at 3.6 WAR in 2017 vs. 1.0 WAR on fangraphs. I think the eye test and the gold glove showed the latter to be faulty.

    Still, someone like Mejia would be the ideal scenario for the Reds but is going to require some good scouting to find a productive backup via trade from the AAAA ranks. I don’t think they should sign a vet backup for 2.5 million or something like that. I like Kolosvary but probably will be best left in AAA until 2022.

    I am glad Barnhart has the certainty early in the offseason assuming he isn’t flipped.

    • jim m

      I do not trust Krall can even make a deal. He already showed his cards by giving Miley to the Cubs for free. Next will be Gray for another .196 hitting cant miss prospect. Or he puts him on waivers and the Cardinals claim him.. what a trash ownership that cares less what Reds fans want. They think fans are happy with free pizza and bobbleheads

  35. Hotto4Votto

    Honestly, if they weren’t going to be able to negotiate a new deal at significantly lower amount, then this is a solid move. It saves them money in the long run, it allows Stephenson to step in as the clear primary catcher, and they get a lotto ticket prospect. Quintana may not amount to much of anything, but anything he gives the Reds is gravy.

  36. Votto4life

    Baseball is really making it hard to keep me engaged.

    I hate the shift, the strike outs, the ghost runners. I miss stolen bases, bunts and the hit and run.

    I am sixty years old and have only followed one team. That team seems to have no
    Interest in winning. It’s becoming more and more likely that I won’t see another world championship in my life time.

    I became very discouraged last year when all the Shortstop options came off the board. I was really hoping the Reds would sign Marcus Semien. Had they done so, they would have likely made the play-offs. Instead the Reds signed no one.

    The Reds front office doesn’t even pretend they are trying to improve the team anymore. All they do is point out the virtues of slashing the payroll. Hard for a fan to get excited about that.

    I am very discouraged about this team at the moment. I was planning my first trip to Spring training in 2022. Now, I suspect my girlfriend and I will go somewhere else. Yeah, it’s pretty discouraging.

  37. BK

    While I like Tucker Barnhart, this was a good move. Given the Reds current roster construction, a RH catcher will be a better complement to Stephenson. The fact that the Reds received a formerly well though of prospect in the transaction is icing–perhaps a change of scenery will unlock the talent. Decent backup catchers are usually available for well less than $7.5M. Reds spending priorities should be:

    1. Retain Castellanos
    2. Pick up the option for Miley

    That said, Krall’s comment is concerning. Hopefully, it was simply a nod of respect to Tucker to avoid saying he thought the team would be better going in a different direction.

  38. MK

    Acouole right field options. Wonder what Puig is doing? McCutcheon got his option denied today too.

    • Stock

      Is he better than Naquin or Senzel? I know Senzel has stunk it up in the majors but I don’t really see giving up on such a promising player prior to him playing a full season. That said he is so brittle he may never play a full season.

      • Redsvol

        would love to have Mccutcheon on a 1 year deal if the price was right. If not him, Duvall, Canha, Soler, Chris Taylor, Avisail Garcia, Tommy Pham. I don’t believe we have an outfielder in the organization ready to help solve our left handed hitting problems.

    • Votto4life

      Last I saw Yasil Puig had a sexual assault charge pending. I doubt he is an option.

      They maybe able to acquire Scott Shiebler. I think he is in the Mariners system.

    • Alan Horn

      Isn’t Puig the one who licks his bat and no one has picked up for a couple of seasons and was the key player in the trade in which we were fleeced by by the Dodgers?

  39. Magnum44

    McCutchen crushes lefties so that has to mean something if they could get him on a 1 year prove it deal might be something worth kicking the tires on.

    • Votto4life

      I would be in favor of the Reds signing McCutchin. I don’t think it will happen because they seem hell bent on slashing payroll. But I would be all for it

    • 2020ball

      McCutchen would improve this team, I’ll admit, hes an asset at the right $. That said, I dont think this team needs things worth kicking the tires on right now. Not a guy Id talk to until later in the offseason.

  40. Redsvol

    Good grief. What’s all the wailing and gnashing of teeth about it. Reds weren’t going to pay Tucker 7.5M$ to be a backup catcher – no team would pay a backup that much. there are a ton of experienced free agent catchers this year;

    I count at least 12 that will make 1-3$M at the most. Any of them would make a fine back up catcher or a primary one for a short time should Stephenson get injured. Stephenson needs to be the starting catcher and Tucker leaving – one way or another – was inevitable. So they found out he had no trade value and got what they could and at same time saved the half million option buyout. Not the friendliest move to treat a player with but I could see the Rays and A’s making a similar move.

    Now, no-one needs to worry about Bell starting Tucker over Stephenson and its obvious he is the better player so why not get on with it. Should we have kept him around for another week then announced we were declining the option and paying the buyout? Tucker was a good Red and I wish him well.

    • Vitto4life


      I don’t think necessarily about this trade but about the trend of the Reds dumping salary.

      If the Reds use the money they save to make a run at Castellanos or in some way reinvest in the team, I think people would be OK with it.

      The trend over the past couple of years has been to dump salary without reinvesting it.

      We will soon see what the Front office true intentions are. If they dump Wade Miley and don’t sign Castellanos, which I think is likely, we are entering a dark era for Reds baseball

    • 2020ball

      Even if they kept TB, I personally think TS would’ve started more this year. Minority opinion I’m sure, and I suppose we’ll never know, but my opinion nonetheless. At least I wont have to hear the move Stephenson to 1st BS anymore.

      • greenmtred

        Don’t be so sure. I’ll still say that from time to time. And I’ll bet that he does end up at 1st eventually.

      • Alan Horn

        Agree Greenmtred. Stephenson is much better suited for 1B. He is somewhat injury phone though a long way from Senzel. He is tall and lanky which hurts his quickness of release when throwing out base runners. Tucker didn’t have an above average arm either. I could see letting Tyler catch less than 50% of the time with the rest spent at 1B and DH. You need to be as strong as possible defensively up the middle and it starts with the catching position. I am not saying Tyler is weak at C but it isn’t in his best interest to play all his games at C going forward.
        I think he is Votto’s replacement with the ability to be a backup at C if needed. If teams ever come to their senses and start stealing bases again, a top flight catcher will become important again. Most on this board never saw Johnny Bench.

      • 2020ball

        I dont understand why you’d teach a guy for years in your system to catch just to move him to 1B when he starts having success in the bigs. He’s a waaay bigger asset if he’s behind the plate, and if you think a defense first guy is a better choice in the lineup than Votto then I just dont know what to say to that. I’m fine with him at 1B sometimes, but 50%???

      • greenmtred

        He’d be a bigger asset as a catcher (assuming he’s a good catcher), but as Alan has pointed out, he’s going to wear down much faster at that position than he would at 1st base. He appears to have the potential to be a very good hitter, so maximizing his healthy playing years is worth considering. Lots of players change positions during their careers.

      • 2020ball

        I dont get the wear and tear argument for a rookie, there are plenty of examples of catchers with long productive careers. This also ignores what TS wants, and id be shocked if he didnt want to be a C. Let him be an asset at a light hitting position, why we are looking for more time for a far less productive player is beyond me. especially at the expense of a young player and a Silver Slugger worthy veteran.

  41. Votto4life


    I don’t think the angst is about this trade on its own. It is part of a trend. The red’s primary motivation is to slash payroll.

    If they would reinvest the money saved back into the club..maybe use it to sign Nick, I think people would be OK with this trade.

    I think most fans here feel the Reds won’t be doing that.

  42. oklared

    Should be to Redsmonk65 posted 1 comment low

  43. Michael B. Green

    Creative way to decline Barnhart’s option. Saved $500k and got a very marginal prospect to boot. Can use the extra $500k to make sure the players don’t have to pay for soda going forward. /s/ Billy Beane

  44. GreatRedLegsFan

    Certainly, it wasn’t expected for the Reds to exercise the option, but a new two-years contract with a lesser AAV wasn’t out of the question either. For sure Tucker’s skills behind the plate will be missed, but it’s about time to turn the page for Tyler. Let’s see how it’ll pan out for the rest.

  45. Alex Whitehead

    Im growing to hate this dull sport at this point and want to stop following it but I’m addicted. Can it please just go away? Payroll? Resources? Supply side. Demand side. Oh my god. Nick and Bob, here’s a pro tip, say winning baseball games. Just, at some point, sneak it in, surprise me. Say the phrase, winning baseball games. We did x thing, to win games, just once. I know you don’t mean it, I know you don’t care. But, humor me. please? Just one time, pretend that’s what this is about. I’m not asking you to say World Series or even a playoff acronym you wouldnt know cause you’ve never been there. just…. winning games. So, what’s next baseball? Mmmmm… Extended Collective bargaining that makes the already cold stove of baseball even colder. Sexy, riveting, exciting. Who needs all that FA talk and who’s going where? Us baseball fans have employers fighting with a union over road housing costs and post game meals. Phew. Who needs a drink?

    • 2020ball

      lol, I laughed at everything but the first sentence. Not the best lead for a fan who loooves this game, but you made up for it with the rest. Cheers brotha!

    • TR

      Welcome to the world of advanced baseball analytics in contrast to the old fashioned eye test view of the game as recently practiced by Brian Snitker to lead the Braves to their fourth WS championship after entering August with a losing record.

  46. RedFuture

    I like Barnhart but this was definitely the right move. This is nothing like last year’s moves of letting go Iglesias and Brandley. You absolutely need at least 7 trusted bullpen pieces and those moves were crushing and cost a playoff berth in my opinion. There are a few catchers around that should be able to catch 1 of every 5 games or so even with limited hitting ability for less than $1M. Stephenson is an exceptional hitter for the games he is in for sure, albeit not as good defensively. The move could even allow room to revise Castellanos contract, but I think he will opt out. I think they’re happy with Naquin in right and will hope for a healthy Senzel in CF. I think they view Aquino, Schrock and Friedl as fallbacks.

  47. 2020ball

    The only reason I’m sort of okay with this is its a huge nod to what they believe Stephenson can do. Not a fan of this move overall, but its a huge vote of confidence in TS. Very happy they believe in him as a their starting catcher.

  48. Bet on Red

    actually I am going with the this is a good move crowd. If we were going to deny the option, 7 million dollars can get us, 2 maybe 3 quality pieces here. Would not mind seeing one of the out fielders (shogo) get traded as well. Been 24 hours and there has been no talk of Nick C movement on his opt out. Could he seriously be considering it?

    • Bet on Red

      Nope, never mind. On the bright side nearly 25 million saved now

      • Alan Horn

        We still have that cancer that is Moose’s contract. This one unlike NC’s contract offers no production at all. Likewise for the Akiyama contract. At least with AA the cost was minimal.

  49. old-school

    Castellanos and Barnhart are now gone.
    Who’s next?

    • Alan Horn

      Yep. Per Castellanos has opted out. Surely we will offer the qualifying offer, but who knows.

      • Gonzo Reds

        Just got a flash sent to my phone, he’s gone. He may regret it as he won’t be able to duplicate his stats in many parks and he may not have a contract until 2023 after the 2022 labor dispute cancels the season. I hope he saved enough to bridge that gap in paychecks!

      • Alan Horn

        I doubt he will regret it because all the players care about is money these days and you can’t blame them. Get all you can while you can. Stats are secondary to them.

  50. Ahimsa

    Seems to me the Reds FO is more interested in providing entertainment (bobbleheads, fireworks, after game concerts, and more) to draw the casual fans, who eat, drink, and stare at their CP the entire game. Winning championships, forget about it.

    • Alan Horn

      I notice that about the minor league teams as well. Fireworks, promotions and most anything else besides producing a winning team. Many who attend are not baseball fans at all. They come for the social events.

  51. LWBlogger2

    Nope, I haven’t been on here in a LONG time but here I am. I am a huge Tucker Barnhart fan (as a former catcher myself), so I may be more heart than head in my thoughts on this. I also do understand the need to make sure Stephenson is the number 1 catcher out of the gate. I just sincerely hope that the Reds tried to negotiate an extension at a lower AAV and/or Barnhart really didn’t want to be a 33/67 catcher and wanted a starting job somewhere.

    Finally, I’m glad the Reds didn’t simply buy out his option and at least they got something for him. The deal was just disappointing and money plays like this don’t send a good message to fans. Let’s see how the rest of the off-season plays out. Personally, I just hope we don’t see a long work stoppage.

    • greenmtred

      Good to see you back, LW. I was wondering a few days ago what you’d say about the Tucker debate.

      • LWBlogger2

        Ha! Wonder no more… Not sure how much I’ll be around but good to see some familiar faces (including you).

  52. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I have no problem with this. Quite expected. Something needed to be done. Tucker did nothing to lose playing time last season. But, Stephenson did nothing not to warrant more playing time this upcoming season. Either one of them was going to switch positions. Or, one was going to switch teams.

    I feel sorry we have to lose Barnhardt. But, I’m looking forward to seeing more of Stephenson.

    As for the salary, that all depends. Are we going to use it to lock someone up, like Winker? Or, are we going to use it to extend Nick C? Or, just sit on it?

    I do like the talk of developing the young talent. I have no problem with that. But, something like Tampa or Oakland isn’t the norm in baseball. You still need to spend every once in a while, I believe.

  53. Hotto4Votto

    Well it’s official. Castellanos opts out. Not surprising at all, the Reds will have their work cut out for them trying to replace his production. Marte is the only guy on the open market that I think could come close. But Krall also said the Reds won’t be filling needs through FA. So….I guess maybe a trade? But who do you trade that doesn’t weaken the team in another area? If we’re not going into rebuild (definitely a case to be made that we should) then they should be going for it with both the Cubs and Pirates rebuilding. Now is the time with the core vets we have. We’ll see if the FO is up for it, or if they’re just focused on the bottom line and not on winning (I unfortunately think I know which is the priority).

    • Gonzo Reds

      I think the key thing to consider is that history shows that we can attract FA hitters as they can see the ballpark makes them better. On the flip side… we can not attract FA pitchers as they see the reverse, thus trade is the only option. With that in mind, it “should” be obvious to exercise all options on good pitchers we have on the hook. Miley should be kept. Of course, we see the front office has no clue as they got rid of the two potential closers we had last year so odds are Miley is gone as well, stupid!

  54. Still a Red

    Most people on this site got what they wanted (not me, for the record). It’s a shame they couldn’t have gotten the Tigers to give up a bit more for him. I sure hope for Tucker’s sake that the Tigers don’t flip him after telling him how much they really want his primary skill set. I hope the Reds use what ever they are saving to sign or extend some of their young guys (Castillo, Winker, maybe even India) or this investing in home-grown stuff is all fluff. It seems like India is the real deal. I’d love it if they could use it to convince Castellanos to stay (but I doubt he will, especially if this trade left a bad taste in his mouth in re: to mgmt). Seems like India is the real deal…hope Stephenson, Barreo, Lopez, Friedl are too.

  55. donny

    I think Amir Garret , Michael Lorenzen , Wade Miley , Sonny Gray are next .

    • Bet on Red

      Lorenzen is already gone, he is a FA and we are not offering the QO to him.

      • Alan Horn

        And they are incompetent enough to give Garrett a raise and keep him. Never mind he can’t throw strikes. Gets hit hard and can’t keep his mouth shut at the other team. His antics just serve to fire up the other team.

      • donny

        Yep, Bet on Red
        My anxiety is kicking in and I forgot Lorenzen is gone already . lol

    • donny

      I really think they will trade two SP and I believe two of the Mariners, BlueJays, Phillies will be there trade partners .

      I think it will be Wade Miley and Sonny Gray.

      Tony Santillan , Vladimir Gutierrez , Nick Lodolo , Hunter Greene , Reiver Sanmartin competing for the 4-5 spot .

      RP Justin Wilson will be in that mix of who’s next also .

      • Alan Horn

        I agree that they now have no choice but to trade one or two starters. I also agree that Wilson will be the next to go but it will also be his choice. Like NC, I think he can get a better contract on the open market.

      • Bet on Red

        Wilson has a player option. If he exercises the option we should keep him. Pitched 2.00 ERA baseball after he was traded here

      • Alan Horn

        Wilson’s option is for a relatively low amount. He will likely get a much better contract through free agency.

  56. Rednat

    let me guess, Castellanos will say he “loved his time in Cincinnati and loved the clubhouse atmosphere and loved his teammates and coaches, blah,blah,blah…… but……”

    I know money is a factor but I think there are other reasons the Castellanos’s and Bauers of the world opt out of these contracts and leave Cincy. lack of leadership in thee front office? uncomfortable dynamics in the clubhouse? spouses hates the city? whatever it is we need to figure it out or stop doing these opt out option contracts. they seem to cause a lot of grief for the fans

  57. donny

    I think it would be smart to trade both Miley and Gray along with Garret to one team.

    I feel that if they trade Miley or Gray separate , they will only get so , so prospects given that they are both on a one year remaining contract .

    I think both together along with Garret will get top 100 prospect and a little bit more
    I would prefer Quality over Quantity .

    • Alan Horn

      Not a bad idea and a good way to rid ourselves of Garrett although all we have to do is non tender him.

  58. TheCoastMan

    So… Castellini is so broke that he can’t afford to pick up Barnhart’s option and then trade him for a decent return this winter? This makes me sick to my stomach. Dumping a premium catcher for a .190 hitting single A scrub. I think it’s time for Big Bob to sell this team to someone who can afford to run it properly.

  59. old-school

    And Miley goes too.

    Barnhart/castellanos/Miley all gone.
    Who’s next?

    • LWBlogger2

      Sad thing about that is Reds get nothing back. Nothing. Is this front-office so bad that they couldn’t move a historically healthy and reliable pitcher, coming off a very good year, and carrying a relatively reasonable option on his contract? I can’t explain this one away.

  60. old-school

    Miley pitching for the cubs against the Reds same division?

  61. old-school

    Miley pitching for the cubs against the Reds same division?

    • TheCoastMan

      Here we go again, pick up the option and trade him for some prospects. This FO is beyond pathetic.