When the Boston Red Sox made the Adam Duvall signing official, they made a surprising decision by Designating 2021 all-star Matt Barnes for assignment. Barnes is a pitcher the Los Angeles Angels should look into once he clears waivers.
The Angels should look to sign Matt Barnes after he clears waivers.
The Red Sox DFA'd the 32-year-old following a very up-and-down last two seasons despite him being owed $7.5 million dollars this season with an $8 million dollar club option for 2024.
Barnes was an all-star in 2021 after posting a 2.61 ERA in 38 appearances. He converted 19 saves in 23 opportunities and received a two-year extension because of his great start. After the break, Barnes fell apart as he posted a 6.48 ERA in 22 appearances and lost his closer job.
The 2022 season was an opportunity for Barnes to bounce back, but it was more of the same inconsistency. In his first 20 appearances, Barnes had a 7.94 ERA. He was supposed to be a key piece of Boston's bullpen but wound up being unusable.
Following an outing at the end of May which saw him give up three runs in an inning of work, Barnes found himself on the IL due to shoulder inflammation. This caused him to miss two months of action as he'd return at the beginning of August. Once he finally returned, he looked like the Barnes of the first half of 2021.
Barnes had a 1.59 ERA in 24 appearances and 22.1 innings pitched down the stretch. He did not allow a single earned run in the month of September which spanned 11 outings.
The Angels still need another reliever for their bullpen. If they don't want to try to sign one of the expensive ones like Andrew Chafin or Michael Fulmer, a Barnes deal would make sense. He has closing experience and when right, can be a force late in games.
You never know which version of Barnes you will get, but on a cheap contract, the risk makes sense. If he's bad, the Angels can cut him. If he's good, they have an established reliever on their hands.
The Angels should not claim him off of waivers as they shouldn't pay him the $7.5 million dollars, but I can't see any team doing that. They can, however, sign him for cheap. With other upgrades needed as well, that could be a smart course of action for Perry Minasian to take.