Ex-Red Sox Matt Barnes Calls End Of Boston Tenure ‘Bittersweet’

'It's going to be weird'


Jan 31, 2023

Matt Barnes didn’t expect to reach the end of his trail with the Boston Red Sox this offseason.

The right-handed relief pitcher spoke out for the first time since Boston severed ties with him ahead of spring training. The Red Sox first designated Barnes for assignment on Jan. 24, a move which was then followed by a swap with the Miami Marlins on Monday that brought Richard Bleier — a left-handed reliever — to Boston.

Barnes, who had spent the entirety of his nine-year career in a Red Sox uniform, touched on what he described as a “bittersweet” end to his time in Boston.

“There’s absolutely going to be an adjustment process,” Barnes said, as transcribed by MassLive’s Chris Cotillo.

2022 certainly wasn’t the campaign that either Barnes or the Red Sox envisioned. While Boston finished dead last in the American League East division, Barnes was far from his prime form when called upon out of the bullpen.

The 32-year-old dealt with a shoulder injury that limited him to just 39 2/3 innings — the fewest since 2015 (aside from the pandemic-impacted 2020 season) — and recorded a 4.31 ERA which was the second-highest of his career. This all came with Barnes just one year removed from his only All-Star appearance in 2021.

Now, Barnes joins a Marlins team, who like the Red Sox, failed to reach the playoffs last season. And while the veteran is grateful for his time in Boston, Barnes did acknowledge that joining a new team for the first time since being drafted in 2011 will be both “weird” and “different.”

“It’s going to be weird,” Barnes said. “It’s going to be different. … Different is not a bad thing.”

Thumbnail photo via Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports Images
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