Red Sox

Red Sox trade Matt Barnes to Marlins for veteran lefty reliever

Richard Bleier logged 50.2 innings with the Marlins in 2022, posting a 3.55 ERA and 1.44 WHIP.

Matt Barnes #32 of the Boston Red Sox delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the ninth inning of the game at Target Field on August 31, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Red Sox defeated the Twins 6-5.
Matt Barnes pitched in Boston for nine seasons. David Berding / Getty

Less than a week after designating him for assignment, the Red Sox are shipping reliever Matt Barnes to Miami.

The Sox announced on Monday afternoon that they traded Barnes to the Marlins for lefty Richard Bleier.

In a corresponding move, Boston designated pitcher Franklin German for assignment to free up a spot on the 40-man roster.

According to Sportsgrid’s Craig Mish, Boston will send about $5 million to the Marlins to cover some of Barnes’ $7.5 million salary in 2023. 

Bleier, 35, covers a vacancy in Boston’s bullpen, especially with fellow southpaws in Josh Taylor and Darwinzon Hernandez off the roster. Last season, Bleier logged 50.2 innings with the Marlins, posting a 3.55 ERA and 1.44 WHIP.


The veteran has plenty of success against left-handed batters, holding them to a .225 batting average over his seven MLB seasons. Even though he doesn’t strike out plenty of hitters (32 strikeouts in those 50.2 innings), Bleier only issued 10 walks in 2022.

Bleier has some connections in the Red Sox clubhouse, serving as a teammate of Chris Sale at Florida Gulf Coast University. In his career, Bleier boasts a 3.06 ERA and a 1.201 WHIP over 308 relief appearances.

Boston removed Barnes — the longest-tenured Sox player after Xander Bogaerts’ free-agent exit — from its roster last Tuesday in order to free up a spot for the newly signed Adam Duvall.

Barnes appeared in 44 games with Boston in 2022, going 0-4 with a 4.31 ERA and a WHIP of 1.437.

Even though the UConn product labored in the spring (18 runs allowed over his first 20 appearances), Barnes rebounded from August through October. After a stint on the injured list with shoulder inflammation, Barnes posted a 1.59 ERA over his final 24 outings.

Barnes pitched in 429 games with the Red Sox over nine seasons, the third-most appearances by a pitcher in team history.


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