Sometimes when you just know, you just know, and the Connecticut native who has openly told media and fans that he grew up in a Yankees family knew he wanted to stay in Boston. The Boston Red Sox and All-Star closer, Matt Barnes, agreed this morning to an extremely team-friendly deal. As Barnes tells it himself, “there really wasn’t a place I wanted to play that wasn’t Boston…The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”
Barnes is guaranteed $18.75 million through the 2023 season. Given just how brilliant Barnes has performed as the newly cemented closer for the 2021 Red Sox, this deal is a steal for Boston. Barnes has posted a 2.68 ERA, 1.76 xERA, 2.04 FIP, 2.07 xFIP, 1.71 opponent batting average, and a 0.86 WHIP, to go along with 15.08 strikeouts per nine and a 1.7 fWAR.
Matt Barnes has simply been one of the best relief pitchers in 2021 and coming by the closer role wasn’t an easy one. Not many fans believed he could honestly do it, given past performances. Prior to the 2021 season, Barnes had a combined 18 blown saves in 33 chances, including blowing eight during the 2019 season. There was undoubtedly cause for concern. Barnes however went out, did his thing, and has subsequently shut up all the haters in 2021. Barnes’ stuff has always been filthy and electric. And he’s shown flashes of brilliance in the past. In three games of the 2018 World Series, Barnes pitched 2.1 innings, with four strikeouts, a 0.00 ERA, and a 1.286 WHIP.
Again, as it needs to be reiterated, Matt Barnes’ deal with the Red Sox is a steal. Barnes will be pitching into his age-32 season in 2022. Aroldis Chapman, albeit a more proven closer, also entered his age-32 season when he signed an extension with the New York Yankees. Just look at the behemoth Chapman and the Yankees agreed to.
What the Yankees will be paying Chapman in 2022 is $750,000 less than the total of Barnes’ deal. Chaim Bloom is truly a wizard, and Matt Barnes is here to stay! Get ready Red Sox fans, the team will enter the All-Star break with five All-Stars, first place in the American League East, Matt Barnes guaranteed through the 2023 season, the fourth overall pick in the draft, and an extremely prosperous outlook. The Red Sox future’s so bright you’ve got to wear shades!
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