Matt Barnes, Boston Red Sox
Right-handed reliever Matt Barnes, 32, was drafted by the Red Sox in the first round, 19th overall, in the 2011 MLB draft out of the University of Connecticut.
Of the seven year veteran’s 309 career appearances, 307 of them have come out of the bullpen, and 62 of those were to finish the game for the popular American League East team.
Barnes’ best season to date, ERA-wise, was 2018 — 3.65 across 62 appearances and 61 2/3 innings. That same year, the Red Sox won the World Series championship opposite the Los Angeles Dodgers. During that Fall Classic series, Barnes made three appearances and tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and one walk while striking out four of his 10 batters faced.
Through 11 career postseason appearances overall, Barnes has an 0.87 ERA, allowing just two runs (one earned) spanning 10 1/3 innings.
So far this season, the right-hander has struggled some, posting a 6.75 ERA spanning eight appearances and eight innings; however, five of his six earned runs came against a potent New York Yankees lineup in which the Phillies bullpen recently saw and similarly struggled against.
This past January, the Red Sox and Barnes avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.1 million contract in his second year of arbitration eligibility. If the Phillies acquire and choose to re-sign him for the 2021 season, he should be able to be retained on an affordable and valuable deal, considering his experience at baseball’s biggest stage.
The Red Sox use Barnes primarily in the eighth inning, which would be valuable for the Phillies as a backup option for fellow right-handed veteran Tommy Hunter (0-1, 6.00 ERA).