The Red Sox and Marlins switched relievers Monday afternoon. Matt Burns Southpaw moved to Miami Richard BriarBoston also reportedly sent just over $5.5 million in cash in the deal to make the deal nearly cash-neutral.
Barnes, 32, was named by the Red Sox last week after completing a one-year, $7 million contract with the outfielder. Adam DuvallHe served as Boston’s primary closer in 2021 and amassed a team-leading 24 saves. He was dominating with a 2.25 ERA and a 42% strikeout percentage through his August 4th.Barnes said the socks I signed him to a two-year $18.75MM extension. Early July.
But in the final two months of the 2022 season, Barnes not only struggled, but melted down in devastating fashion. He pitched just 10 of his 2/3rd innings since August 5, recording 16 strikeouts on 17 hits and 9 walks. It was a disastrous end to what started as one of the best season he ever had in all of the major leagues as a reliever.
Burns had hoped to return in 2022, but lost the closer job early in the year after his ERA hit 7.94 by the end of May. Among high leverage considerations, the right arm will always be much lower. Kenley Jansen When Chris Martin — two moves largely necessitated by Barnes’ struggles.
That said, it’s worth pointing out that Barnes finished on a noteworthy note for Miami and other clubs. He was on the injured reserve list from early June to early August due to shoulder inflammation, but when he returned, he looked like the old Barnes. Starting that same August 4, Barnes pitched 22 2/3 innings with a 1.59 ERA and four saves. His 21.1% strikeout rate was half of his dominant form in 2021, but it was still a reassuring note to close out the season.
Barnes may finally get another chance to open up some save opportunities in Miami. Dylan Frollo The current projected frontrunner for that gig. Frollo has a 3.02 ERA in 2022 with the Marlins as he pitched 53 2/3 innings and over the past two years he has made 25 successful save attempts. Barnes made just eight saves in 2022 and finished with a 4.31 ERA in 39 2/3 frames. He adds significantly more bat-miss potential to a team that ranks him 13th among MLB clubs with his 24% strikeout percentage from the relief team in 2022, but minus the face is clear.
Briar, meanwhile, can still meet the needs of the Sox for help in the left-handed bullpen, even going into his 36-year-old season. The veteran southpaw has posted a 3.09 ERA in 125 1/3 innings since the start of 2020, and has topped . I’ve kept it down to the slashline of /.313. 2016. Boston traded lefty Josh Taylor to the Royals in exchange for Adalberto Mondesisent a veteran Jake Diekman Moved to White Sox at last year’s trade deadline (signed by 2023) and lost Darwinson Hernandez to the Orioles via waivers early this offseason.
They would get some quality left-handed innings from Briar, but despite his strong track record, there are some red flags to watch out for. The soft-toss southpaw hasn’t missed many bats, but his 14.4% strikeout rate last year was his lowest since 2019. But while his 52.5% mark last year was strong compared to league averages, it was nowhere near his 63.5% of his career mark that he brought into 2022 his season. Briar has also regularly avoided hard contact, but last year’s 89.6 mph escape velocity and 40.8% hard hit rate were his worst since his aforementioned debut in 2016.
Burns is expected to make $7.5 million in 2023 and have a buyout of at least $2.25 million with a 2024 club option worth $8 million. Brier said next season he’s going for $3.25 million, and next year he’s got a $250,000 buyout and he has a $3.75 million club option. Barnes is now guaranteed $9.75MM and Bleier will make at least $3.75MM. The Sox cover most of that $6 million gap with his $5.5 million-plus cash consideration.
Sox saves a small amount of money, has a solid overall track record, and brings middle relief with particularly encouraging numbers against fellow lefties. Via affordable $3.75 million option 2024 Being able to control him by the year is the icing on the cake.
When it comes to the Marlins, this swap could add some late-game upside to the bullpen at very little extra cost. Fans may find it frustrating to ship Relief with better surface-level numbers equivalent to Burns’ Rebirth project, but Fish pitches young in hopes of unleashing a high-leverage Relief. I’m willing to bet on Barnes, who is hard to beat. That will be controlled affordably through the 2024 season via his $8 million option. And if Barnes can actually get back in shape, if Miami can pull himself out of postseason contention altogether, he’ll give Miami an interesting arm to market this summer.
Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal First reported that the Marlins are acquiring Barnes. SportsGrid’s Craig Misch It reported that Boston was buying Briar in return. Herald’s Jordan McPherson was the first to say that Miami received cash consideration. Misch It is fixed in the range of $5MM. Chris Coitllo at MassLive It first reported that the cash involved was just over $5.5 million.