A day that many have been waiting on has come to fruition. On Thursday – their off day – the Los Angeles Dodgers optioned catcher Austin Barnes to AAA Oklahoma City. At the current time, a corresponding roster move has not been announced.
Several sources on Twitter had this out, including J.P. Hoornstra.
Austin Barnes has been optioned to Oklahoma City. #Dodgers
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) July 25, 2019
While many hoped that Barnes would return to his 2017 form when he had an .895 OPS in 102 games, it never happened.
Through 70 games played this season, Barnes has a .616 OPS to go along with five home runs and 23 RBI. Moreover. the catcher has a batting average of .171 since April 13th.
Barnes isn’t one of those guys that was hard to root for – it just didn’t work out. Still, it’s important to remember his contributions to the 2017 Dodgers when they needed a catcher in the wake of Yasmani Grandal’s struggles. Then, Barnes stepped up.
However, it’s a business that really deals in the ‘now’. In this case, the Dodgers have a more qualified (and younger) talented option in Will Smith; who has been really excelling in AAA. Any move other than Smith returning to Los Angeles where he has had some dramatic moments would come as a surprise.
Furthermore, this may not be the last time we see Barnes in Los Angeles. Similar to when Yasiel Puig was sent down – if Barnes goes down to AAA and tears it up – there could be another tour at the big league level.
So what do you think? Is this the last of Austin Barnes in a Dodgers uniform? And do you think the Dodgers get better in an addition by subtraction with this transaction? Let us know in the comments below!