Cubs finalize 2-year deal with catcher Tucker Barnhart

FILE - Detroit Tigers catcher Tucker Barnhart is pictured during the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Seattle. The Chicago Cubs bolstered their defense again on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, agreeing to a contract with Gold Glove-winning catcher Tucker Barnhart.(AP Photo/Stephen Brashear, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs finalized a $6.5 million, two-year contract with Gold Glove-winning catcher Tucker Barnhart on Thursday.

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.

He's the third Gold Glove winner to sign with the Cubs this offseason.

All-Star shortstop Dansby Swanson, who won his first Gold Glove last season with Atlanta, signed a $177 million, seven-year contract. The Cubs also brought in Gold Glove-winning center fielder Cody Bellinger on a $17.5 million, one-year deal.

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