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Chaim Bloom explains why Red Sox chose Matt Barnes to designate for assignment

Chaim Bloom explains why Red Sox chose Matt Barnes to designate for assignment

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom is betting that the future for younger less skilled relievers is better than the future for Matt Barnes.

Boston cut ties with its former All-Star on Tuesday to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Adam Duvall, whom the Red Sox officially signed after coming to an agreement last week .

The Red Sox now have seven days to deal, trade or release Barnes.

โ€œObviously a really, really tough decision. The conversation itself was one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had,โ€ Bloom said. โ€œThe DFA process has to do its job, so until it does, Till then I want to say a limited amount about it. More than anything, it’s a celebration of where we are in the off-season and with our 40-man roster. There were no easy decisions.

Barnes was expected to be part of the Sox’ 2023 bullpen. He posted good numbers (1.59 ERA over 22โ…” innings over his last 24 games) after returning from a lengthy stint on the injured list in August.

Cutting Barnes allowed the Red Sox to keep unproven relievers Caleb Ort and Wyatt Mills, both of whom are small and have options.

“Obviously everyone knows what his accomplishments are and how much he means to this organization,” Bloom said. โ€œI’ve spoken many times over the years how much I respect him. This just gets everyone else on our roster to look forward to. Whether it’s things that he’s shown where they belong, or in the case of (Ryan) Brazier, who’s been through some ups and downs but finished the season really strong. He showed a lot. When you project that forward, it’s really encouraging. Some of those young relievers have more options, more control and who have a lot of advantages.”

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Bloom continued, “Sometimes the easy way out is to trade someone who doesn’t have a dazzling ERA, who’s just been beaten and doesn’t have much under his belt, even when all indicators say That’s the wrong move,” Bloom continued. “Usually when you do that, the game will punish you. It was not an easy move. But it was what we felt was the right thing to do. It was nothing bad about Matt, I’m sure he’ll be consistent throughout his career.” It was a reflection of where we were at and how we saw the pen coming together and what those other guys have a chance to do for us.

Barnes was the longest tenured member of the Red Sox, having debuted in 2014. Boston is on the hook for $9.75 million (including his $7.5 million salary in 2023 and a $2.25 million buyout on a 2024 club option) remaining for the two years, an $18.75 million extension he signed through July 2021.

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