Austin Barnes has been the brunt of a lot of jokes over the past calendar year as a result of his underperformance. Once good enough to unseat Yasmani Grandal as the Dodgers’ starting catcher in the postseason, Barnes has now taken a back seat to Dodgers rookie Will Smith.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times and confirmed by Ken Rosenthal, the Houston Astros have shown interest in a trade for Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes.
The Houston Astros have inquired about Austin Barnes, per source. They’re looking for catchers with Robinson Chirinos and Martin Maldonado hitting free agency. Barnes has struggled at the plate the last two years, but the Astros are high on his framing.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) December 12, 2019
This is a really interesting development, but not at all surprising considering the recent reports that the Astros have been on the prowl for a young, controllable catcher — Barnes certainly fits that bill. The Astros almost definitely are viewing him as a defensive catcher — which he is excellent with — but his bat lagged behind last season.
Moreover, LA recently re-upped with Barnes on a one-year contract to avoid…