Miami Marlins swap relievers with Boston Red Sox, acquiring Barnes and sending out Bleier


The Miami Marlins on Monday acquired right-handed relief pitcher Matt Barnes from the Boston Red Sox, giving them another option to be their closer or at the very least be a high-leverage bullpen option.

Left-handed pitcher Richard Bleier is going to Boston as the return for the trade. Miami is also getting cash considerations from the Red Sox.

Barnes, who turns 33 in June, is a nine-year MLB veteran, with all of his time until now being with the Red Sox. He has a career 4.07 ERA, a mark that drops to 3.88 through his past six seasons.

He was an All-Star in 2021, during which he converted a career-high 24 saves, but is coming off the second-worst season of his career, one in which he had a 4.31 ERA and just 34 strikeouts against 21 walks in 39 2/3 innings. Barnes did improve dramatically down the stretch in 2022, pitching to a 1.59 ERA (four earned runs through 22 2/3 innings) with 20 strikeouts against nine walks over his final 24 appearances.

Bleier, who the Marlins signed to a two-year deal last offseason, had a 3.55 ERA through 50 2/3 innings last season and has a 3.06 ERA through 299 2/3 career innings.

Barnes will now factor into a bullpen that includes lefties Tanner Scott and Steven Okert as well as righties Dylan Floro and JT Chargois as high-leverage options.

The other relievers on Miami’s 40-man roster: righties Anthony Bender (out for 2023 following Tommy John surgery), Huascar Brazoban, Nic Enright, Tommy Nance, Sean Reynolds, George Soriano and Eli Villalobos as well as lefties Andrew Nardi and Josh Simpson.