Matt Barnes DFA'd, traded to Marlins for LH reliever Bleier

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We just took on TWO MILLION dollars in the Josh Taylor trade.
Thanks, I guess we have a different definition. They made a trade for Mondesi--I see that as something that could actually provide a lot of value to the Sox. If for whatever reason you already deem it a failure, then sure, I guess that's throwing TWO MILLION dollars away. Which isn't even very much money.
 

brandonchristensen

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Thanks, I guess we have a different definition. They made a trade for Mondesi--I see that as something that could actually provide a lot of value to the Sox. If for whatever reason you already deem it a failure, then sure, I guess that's throwing TWO MILLION dollars away. Which isn't even very much money.
That was more of a joke, but we're flirting with the tax limit already - throwing away his salary means we have to pay that AND pay for another player to be on the team/40-man.

Just seems like a weird use of resources.
 

BaseballJones

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Barnes, when he's pitching well is better than half this bullpen. Hell, he's actually really good.

Meanwhile Brasier just gives up rockets.

This team is gonna suck.
"When he's pitching well". I mean, that's a hell of a qualifier, right? In his best ever season (2018), his era was 3.65 and his whip was 1.27. But his career era is 4.07 and his career whip is 1.34.

Brasier's best season (2016) he had an era of 1.60 and a whip of 0.77. His career era is 4.14 and his career whip is 1.22.

I mean, when Barnes is ON he's nasty. But over the course of his career, he really hasn't been ON that much. He's been about as good as Brasier, even though that may be hard to believe.

I'm still stunned at this move though, all that being said.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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That was more of a joke, but we're flirting with the tax limit already - throwing away his salary means we have to pay that AND pay for another player to be on the team/40-man.

Just seems like a weird use of resources.
I was simply asking about your comment that they throw away a lot of money. No biggie, carry on.
 

bosockboy

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Yes, but it seemed like it was at his highest of high points. I think this extension was Chaim's worst move. Hell, even though I knew it would never happen, I was advocating to sell high on Barnes instead.

Having said that, I find this move fascinating, and the underlying numbers pretty compelling. If there is a trade brewing, and they save some money, great. If it means they don't trade Houck for Kim and keep him for the bullpen, even better.
Timing of this combined with the Mondesi trade (and not trading for Kim) makes me think Houck isn’t going anywhere.
 

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Not Chaim related really - but the Sox have had a lot of dead money on their roster for years. Panda, Hanley, Peoria (fuck Machado), Price, etc. Seems like we're always paying people NOT to play.
Isn't that the curse of big contracts? At some point you either cut bait and pay someone not to play or you keep playing a shitty, old player because they're still under contract.
 

brandonchristensen

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Isn't that the curse of big contracts? At some point you either cut bait and pay someone not to play or you keep playing a shitty, old player because they're still under contract.
Yeah I'm sure, we're not the only team (Ellsbury springs to mind, Damion Easley forever ago)... I'm sure Barnes is of SOME use. Who knows. the news from the Sox is always out of left field.
 

BaseballJones

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Gun to your head; who do you want in a tight spot? Brasier or Barnes?
Honestly, not sure. Recency bias says Barnes, but in all honesty, he really isn't better than Brasier. He strikes out more guys, so if that's what you need, I'd go with Barnes, but he puts more guys on base. It's really a tossup.
 

TheYellowDart5

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I think the answer with "why Barnes" is pretty simple: he doesn't throw 98 anymore. He was consistently 96–97 in his best days and harder than that often, and now he tops out around 96. He did seem to gain some velocity back by season's end — fastball went from 93 in April to 95.5 by September — but he might be a guy who needs that extra oomph to go from unreliable middle reliever to lockdown high-leverage guy. His whiff and strikeout rates on the four-seamer are way down since he got hurt, and who knows if that comes back without the ability to touch 98-plus on the regular.

If that's the case, add in the inability to option him if he looks bad to start the year and I get why he goes over Ort and Mills. Brasier ... I don't want to think about Brasier.
 

simplicio

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Gun to your head; who do you want in a tight spot? Brasier or Barnes?
Not Brasier, he's been terrible in hi-lev situations. But not Barnes either anymore. We have like 5 guys I'd put ahead of either.

Barnes's career numbers are pretty consistent across situations. Brasier goes from a really good pitcher in low-lev usage to dramatically bad when it's on the line, it's honestly kind of alarming:60423
 

The Mort Report

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An angle that crossed my mind. Lets say the team viewed Barnes as a fringe roster player, not worthy of his salary. They put him out there in trade discussions, had mild interest with multiple teams checking in on the cost, but no one really offering anything of value to the team. They made a calculation that if there is a clock on trading for him, one team might blink and give up more than they wanted to and meet Boston's asking price. If not, you know you can then put him on waivers, knowing full well he's getting claimed and the salary is off the books. This extra salary frees up for another move to improve the team that's lined up, just trying to extract the most out of the asset.
 

DJnVa

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Not Brasier, he's been terrible in hi-lev situations. But not Barnes either anymore. We have like 5 guys I'd put ahead of either.

Barnes's career numbers are pretty consistent across situations. Brasier goes from a really good pitcher in low-lev usage to dramatically bad when it's on the line, it's honestly kind of alarming:View attachment 60423
I mean, his xFIP looks pretty similar in low and high leverages there no? And his BABIP there looks ridiculous, so I'm not sure if there's any difference or it's noise in the numbers.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Bloom continues his approach of zero leaks (no noise about Mondesi prior to the announcement) and no fear about cutting losses. It would have been SO easy to cut Ort today instead of Barnes and none of us would have batted an eye. Same for Jeter Downs earlier. Dumping those guys invites criticism.

Not sure if these are the right moves but I"m impressed with Bloom's fortitude in making them.
 

RG33

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Somewhat surprising, but waiting to see the other shoe drop before fully commenting.

With regards to the questions on how he is in a lockerroom, my colleague was one of his catchers at UConn and loves him, still buddies, and said he was super well liked by everyone. “Great guy”.
 

StuckOnYouk

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That 2011 UConn team had I think 5 guys get a taste of the majors which is amazing when you think about a Northeast college baseball team.
Springer, Barnes, and Ahmed the most prominent.
 

8slim

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Bloom continues his approach of zero leaks (no noise about Mondesi prior to the announcement) and no fear about cutting losses. It would have been SO easy to cut Ort today instead of Barnes and none of us would have batted an eye. Same for Jeter Downs earlier. Dumping those guys invites criticism.

Not sure if these are the right moves but I"m impressed with Bloom's fortitude in making them.
I don’t know. I’m not passionate about this situation but to me “fortitude” is cutting Lawyer Malloy the week the regular season starts. This is just… weird.
 

Apisith

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If the Angels pick him up, we save $8m but we don’t need it. We’re already under the threshold. Let’s absorb some of the salary to buy a prospect or two. Be creative.
 

Bread of Yaz

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Seems more likely they'll be replaced by the Mills/Sherriff/Kelly/Ort shuttle rather than the starter options shuttle, unless they need spot starts.

Think it's pretty likely they add some more minor league depth & maybe a Chafin, too. Signing Sherriff to help lure a guy who has "The Sheriff" as 1 of his nicknames would be pretty elite.
He had a very strong 2022, supported by advanced metrics, and declined a $6.5M option, so I unfortunately don't think the Sox will be able to afford him given their apparent current desire to stay under the tax line.
 

JM3

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He had a very strong 2022, supported by advanced metrics, and declined a $6.5M option, so I unfortunately don't think the Sox will be able to afford him given their apparent current desire to stay under the tax line.
He could have declined the $6.5m option because he hates playing for the Tigers or wants a multi year commitment. Or have misjudged the market.

According to this (which I still think is pessimistic):


They have over $9m, though, even before someone potentially takes some of Barnes' $9.3m on. So there's no real reason they couldn't give Chafin a chunk of that if that's the direction they choose to take with the rest of their budget.


The fact that he was good the last 2 years is why one might want to invest in him. He might definitely not be the guy, though. His large home/road splits are a bit concerning.

If not him, I think it makes sense to add some more minor league shuttle depth, but maybe they see Murphy or Walter in that role this year & not as pure starters.
 

tbb345

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The Barnes extension was one of the Bloom’s clearest mistakes, in my opinion, unless you think of it as a kind of gesture of goodwill making up for past overuse in the DD era.
If im reading this correctly, you think that there’s a decent chance that Bloom gave Barnes a contract offer and added on money because of past overuse?

If that’s the case then I am completely comfortable in saying it was just a mistake and had absolutely zero to do with a gesture of goodwill for overuse. Not in a million years was Bloom looking at possible contracts and decided to give Barnes one for more money because Bloom wanted to thank him for pitching so much during a period where Bloom had no affiliation with the team. That’s honestly insane to even suggest
 

chawson

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If im reading this correctly, you think that there’s a decent chance that Bloom gave Barnes a contract offer and added on money because of past overuse?

If that’s the case then I am completely comfortable in saying it was just a mistake and had absolutely zero to do with a gesture of goodwill for overuse. Not in a million years was Bloom looking at possible contracts and decided to give Barnes one for more money because Bloom wanted to thank him for pitching so much during a period where Bloom had no affiliation with the team. That’s honestly insane to even suggest
Yeah it’s probably wrong. I remember some discussion at the time of the extension that it may partly have been about giving him a kind of security for future overuse later that season, or to pacify him in case we acquired a closer that bumped him to setup (which might annoy him before he hit FA).

Hard to guess at and who knows, but I suspect the FO was pretty aware of how often he had pitched, plus the relative stress level of his pitches (the guy threw hard curveballs for 46 percent of his pitches from 2018-20, tops in the league).
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I’m a terrible researcher and tried to find the old Barnes thread after he signed the extension. I could be wrong but my recollection is that it was near unanimous on this board that it was a great deal by Bloom. Apparently my recollection is wrong based on the posts in this thread and others about it SINCE that extension…
 

Brianish

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I’m a terrible researcher and tried to find the old Barnes thread after he signed the extension. I could be wrong but my recollection is that it was near unanimous on this board that it was a great deal by Bloom. Apparently my recollection is wrong based on the posts in this thread and others about it SINCE that extension…
https://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/sox-extend-barnes-2-years-18-75-m.34019/

At a glance, your recollection seems broadly correct.
 

teddywingman

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I haven't had confidence in Matt Barnes on the mound since the All Star Break after he signed his extension. Do you guys watch the games?
Down the stretch last year I watched a lot of games, (for... reasons). I thought Barnes looked pretty good. Meanwhile, Brasier was a laser show.

Am I remembering correctly that he (Brasier) lead the league in exit velocity?
 

HangingW/ScottCooper

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Down the stretch last year I watched a lot of games, (for... reasons). I thought Barnes looked pretty good. Meanwhile, Brasier was a laser show.

Am I remembering correctly that he (Brasier) lead the league in exit velocity?
I should clarify, I'm not a fan of Tilt either and agree that Brasier should have been DFA'd before Barnes, but despite the numbers Barnes didn't look like he turned a corner to me last year. Cora was absolutely picking his spots with him in an attempt to rebuild confidence.
 

The_Dali

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Or keep the space for the flexibility to acquire a player via mid-season trade.
Agree. I’m starting to get interested in this team. The real test will be what happens at the deadline if they are in the mix but moves would put them over the threshold again.

But I’m starting to see where the team is going.
 

Rovin Romine

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Agree. I’m starting to get interested in this team. The real test will be what happens at the deadline if they are in the mix but moves would put them over the threshold again.

But I’m starting to see where the team is going.
There's a lot of volatility here in key individual player performances, mostly hinging on health. But that's baseball. 2013 v. 2014. 2018 v. 2019. 2021 v 2022.
 

chawson

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Down the stretch last year I watched a lot of games, (for... reasons). I thought Barnes looked pretty good. Meanwhile, Brasier was a laser show.

Am I remembering correctly that he (Brasier) lead the league in exit velocity?
Robles did, then Familia and Ort, in descending order, over their small sample sizes. Batters had higher average exit velocity against Barnes and Pivetta than Brasier.

Brasier's not a great pitcher and doesn't seem especially likable, but now that his job security has become a kind of meme his futility has become way overstated. He's fine, and I can see how the Sox think he's useful.

How Brasier ranks among 253 qualified MLB relievers who threw 30+ innings in 2022 (value)
BB%: 15th (4.9%)
K/BB: 22nd (4.92)
O-Swing%/Chase rate: 17th (38.6%)
BABIP: 29th-highest (.335)
Average FB velocity: 65th (96.0 mph)
FIP: 132nd (3.61)
xFIP: 83rd (3.49)
ERA-FIP: 8th (meaning he had the eighth-largest difference between ERA and FIP in MLB, suggesting extreme unluckiness)

How Barnes ranks
BB%: 209th (11.9%)
K/BB: 234th (1.62)
O-Swing%/Chase rate: 212th (29.3%)
BABIP: 89th-highest (.293)
Average FB velocity: 107th (95.0)
FIP: 152nd (3.87)
xFIP: 243nd (4.97)
ERA-FIP: 67th

The case for Brasier is that he throws strikes and he throws hard. He had the 15th best walk rate among all relievers in MLB last year, and was generally very unlucky (or selectively bad in high leverage situations, as others have pointed out). He's fine. If he were a Dodger, he'd be Phil Bickford, a useful reliever who sometimes gives up loud solo shots. If he were an Astro, he'd be Phil Maton.
 
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teddywingman

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Robles did, then Familia and Ort, in descending order, over their small sample sizes. Batters had higher average exit velocity against Barnes and Pivetta than Brasier.

Brasier's not a great pitcher and doesn't seem especially likable, but now that his job security has become a kind of meme his futility has become way overstated. He's fine, and I can see how the Sox think he's useful.

How Brasier ranks among 253 qualified MLB relievers who threw 30+ innings in 2022 (value)
BB%: 15th (4.9%)
K/BB: 22nd (4.92)
O-Swing%/Chase rate: 17th (38.6%)
BABIP: 29th-highest (.335)
Average FB velocity: 65th (96.0 mph)
FIP: 132nd (3.61)
xFIP: 83rd (3.49)
ERA-FIP: 8th (meaning he had the eighth-largest difference between ERA and FIP in MLB, suggesting extreme unluckiness)

How Barnes ranks
BB%: 209th (411.9)
K/BB: 234th (1.62)
O-Swing%/Chase rate: 212th (29.3%)
BABIP: 89th-highest (.293)
Average FB velocity: 107th (95.0)
FIP: 152nd (3.87)
xFIP: 243nd (4.97)
ERA-FIP: 67th

The case for Brasier is that he throws strikes and he throws hard. He had the 15th best walk rate among all relievers in MLB last year, and was generally very unlucky (or selectively bad in high leverage situations, as others have pointed out). He's fine. If he were a Dodger, he'd be Phil Bickford, a useful reliever who sometimes gives up loud solo shots. If he were an Astro, he'd be Phil Maton.
Man those numbers surprise me. It's not how remember seeing things over August and September.
 

JM3

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Man those numbers surprise me. It's not how remember seeing things over August and September.
To some extent it's because they ignore the actual results, which were awful for Brasier, but the underlying stuff was better than the results.

Avg exit velocity stuff from '22, pitchers on the 40 with at least 25 innings last year + Barnes...

Ort 91.6
Barnes 91.1
Pivetta 90.7
Brasier 90.7
Houck 89.7
Crawford 89.7
Winckowski 89.5
Whitlock 88.8
Martin 88.2
Bello 88.0
Schreiber 87.2
Jansen 87.1
Kluber 87.1
Joely 85.3
Mills 85.2

Kelly 85.0