The would-be reunion with free agent Tucker Barnhart appears to be over for those hoping he’d return to the Cincinnati Reds.
As the team entered the offseason, one of their biggest priorities was augmenting their depth at the catching position after Barnhart’s departure and resident starter Tyler Stephenson’s injury-filled 2022 season. They weren’t going to trade from depth or spend much to address it, of course, but something better than the dismal production they got from last year’s options was a necessity.
It would seem as if they’ve found their man, as the Reds announced on Twitter on Monday afternoon that they’ve signed veteran Luke Maile to a one-year deal (as confirmed by MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon).
Welcome to Reds Country, Luke Maile!— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) November 28, 2022
The #Reds have signed the catcher to a one-year deal for the 2023 season. Maile attended Covington Catholic High School and played collegiately at Kentucky. pic.twitter.com/NVu02rLUn0
Maile, 31, spent last season with Cleveland and posted a solid (for a catcher) 82 OPS+. The former University of Kentucky star signed-on to play professionally after being taken in the 8th round of the 2012 MLB Draft by Tampa, and spent time at the big league level both there, in Toronto, and with Milwaukee prior to his stint with Cleveland.
All told, he’s a career .207/.268/.314 hitter in 897 PA in the bigs. Reds catchers - Stephenson included - hit .216/.261/.327 in total last season. Ponder that as you will.