Although Austin Barnes once supplanted Yasmani Grandal as the starting catcher, he’s largely been a backup since his breakout 2017 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Barnes nevertheless is highly regarded in the clubhouse and for his ability to manage the Dodgers pitching staff. Barnes and Clayton Kershaw in particular have formed a strong bond and work well together.
Although the Dodgers are flush with organizational talent at the catcher position, they reportedly made a move to ensure Barnes remains with the team at least through the 2024 season.
According to Robert Murray of FanSided, the Dodgers signed Barnes to a two-year contract extension:
Catcher Austin Barnes and the Los Angeles Dodgers are in agreement on a two-year contract extension, according to sources familiar with the situation.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) July 3, 2022
Barnes was due to become a free agent after the 2022 season. He avoided arbitration with the Dodgers in February 2021 by signing a two-year, $4.3 million contract. Barnes’ deal included a signing bonus and incentives for games played and performance bonuses.
Entering play Sunday, Barnes has hit .224/.334/.356 with 49 doubles, 28 home runs and 124 RBI in 454 games over parts of eight seasons.
He joined the organization in a December 2014 trade that also brought Chris Hatcher, Andrew Heaney and Kiké Hernandez to the Dodgers in a deal that sent Dee Strange-Gordon, Dan Haren, Miguel Rojas and cash considerations to the Miami Marlins.
Heaney was then immediately flipped to the Los Angeles Angels in the Howie Kendrick trade, but now is back with the Dodgers this season.
Why did Trea Turner make Austin Barnes ‘captain’ shirts?
Further indication of Barnes’ value to the clubhouse, Trea Turner made ‘captain’ t-shirts because the 32-year-old showed power early in the season to help carry the offense.
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