Matt Barnes has a new team, the Red Sox have a second lefthander for their bullpen, and another good prospect is off the 40-man roster.
The Sox and Marlins swung a trade on Monday that sent Barnes and $5 million to Miami for lefthander Richard Bleier. To make room for Bleier on the 40-man roster, the Sox designated righthander Franklin German for assignment.
Instead of releasing Barnes, who was designated for assignment last week, the Sox obtained Bleier, who turns 36 in April and has been a solid relief option over seven seasons in the majors.
It’s essentially a financial wash for the Sox as Barnes has a luxury tax salary of $9.375 million and Bleier counts for $3.75 million.
The Red Sox now have a luxury tax payroll of approximately $202 million, 11th highest in the game. They are roughly $31 million below the threshold where penalties would be imposed.
The Sox were over the limit last season.
Bleier appeared in 55 games for the Marlins last season with a 3.55 earned run average and a career-worst 1.44 WHIP. He held lefthanded hitters to a .676 OPS but righties hit .336 with an .883 OPS.
Bleier, who has a career ERA of 3.06, made his debut with the Yankees in 2016 and was with the Orioles from 2017-2020. The Marlins acquired him early in the abbreviated 2020 season.
In what is an increasing rarity for relievers, Bleier pitches to contact and has a modest strikeout rate of 5.1 per nine innings for his career.
German was the well-regarded prospect obtained in the 2021 trade when the Sox acquired righthander Adam Ottavino from the Yankees.
German made his major league debut last season and pitched four innings after posting a 2.72 ERA in 43 minor league appearances. German was one of the 11 players the Sox selected for their rookie development program at Fenway Park last week.
The trade officially ends what were 12 seasons in the organization for Barnes, a first-round pick in 2011 who reached the majors in 2014.
His 429 appearances are third in team history. Barnes also had an 0.79 ERA in 12 career playoff appearances and was an All-Star in 2021.
He had a 1.59 ERA over 24 games after returning from a shoulder injury last season and had six saves in seven chances. His ERA was 7.94 prior to the injury.
The Marlins believe, as did several other teams, that Barnes is a good candidate to bounce back this season.
Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.