Boston Red Sox News: Team agrees to 2-year contract extension with RHP Matt Barnes

7/11/2021

Matt Barnes running 2015 By Keith Allison on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

BOSTON, MA — The Boston Red Sox today signed right-handed pitcher Matt Barnes to a two-year contract extension that spans the 2022-23 seasons, with a club option for 2024.

Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom made the announcement.

Barnes, 31, has spent his entire career in the Red Sox organization since Boston selected him in the first round (No. 19 overall) of the 2011 June Draft. In 362 career major league appearances (two starts), the right-hander is 30-23 with 34 saves, a 3.94 ERA (164 ER/374.1 IP), and 500 strikeouts. His 360 relief outings rank fourth in Red Sox history behind only Bob Stanley (552), Mike Timlin (394), and Jonathan Papelbon (393), while his 362 total appearances rank eighth.

Since the start of the 2016 season, Barnes leads American League relief pitchers in appearances (325), strikeouts (453), and wins (27), and ranks second in innings (322.1). He was the only American League pitcher to make at least 60 appearances and throw at least 60.0 innings in each season from 2016-19, tied for the most such seasons in Red Sox history. Since the start of 2018, Barnes has struck out 37.8 percent of batters faced and averaged 14.47 strikeouts per 9.0 innings, the third-highest marks among pitchers who have thrown at least 150.0 innings in that time.

In addition to earning his first career All-Star Game selection this season via the Player Ballot, Barnes was named the American League’s Relief Pitcher of the Month for April. In 37 appearances this year, he has recorded 19 saves with a 2.68 ERA (11 ER/37.0 IP), 0.86 WHIP, .171 opponent batting average, 62 strikeouts, and 10 walks. Barnes is currently posting career bests in ERA, WHIP, opponent batting average, walks per 9.0 innings (2.43), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.20). According to FanGraphs, he ranks fourth among relievers in wins above replacement (1.7).

In 11 career Postseason outings, Barnes is 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA (1 ER/10.1 IP) and a .167 opponent batting average (6-for-36). He helped lead the Red Sox to the 2018 World Series title, earning wins in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros and in Game 1 of the Fall Classic against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Barnes led Boston with 10 appearances during the Postseason, nine of which were scoreless.

COURTESY BOSTON RED SOX & MLBpressbox.com

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