Red Sox Trade Reliever Matt Barnes to the Marlins
The Boston Red Sox signed reliever Matt Barnes to a two-year, $18.75 million extension after a brilliant first half of the 2021 season. And from precisely that moment, he became wildly disappointing. So disappointing that the Red Sox, with full knowledge that they would be on the hook for the $9.75 million still owed to him, DFA’d him last week when they needed a roster spot, just six months into that extension.
Maybe he’ll be able to rebound with a new club:
Barnes, 32, figures to be coming with some salary, because Bleier makes only $3 million. The latter is something of a steady, contact-oriented reliever. Barnes is the upside play for the Marlins, though outside of that spectacular short-term run, he’s mostly been a slightly-better-than-league-average-ish reliever over his near decade in the Red Sox bullpen. Oh, and Barnes’ deal does have a team option for 2024, so if he does bounce back, the Marlins will have the opportunity to keep him for another year.
There was some hope that Barnes would wind up on the waiver wire, clearing, and then hitting free agency. There, he could be signed for the big league minimum, and it wouldn’t be hard to imagine the Cubs having interest. But that won’t be happening.
So it’s back to those pricier lefty relievers (and Michael Fulmer).