Former All-Star Closer Holds Throwing Showcase For MLB Scouts; 2 Teams Linked

Matt Barnes, the free agent right-handed pitcher, is making strides to return to the major leagues after an offseason hip surgery that cut short his 2023 season.

Known for his All-Star appearance in 2021 with the Boston Red Sox, Barnes is gearing up for a throwing showcase for MLB teams, aiming to demonstrate his readiness and capability to contribute, particularly in a middle relief role.

Despite a challenging year with the Miami Marlins, where he posted a 5.48 ERA across 24 outings, Barnes is determined to bounce back, leveraging his previous success, including a season where he saved 24 games for the Red Sox and struck out 84 batters over 54.2 innings​​.

Barnes' career has had its ups and downs, marked by exceptional performances and some struggles.

In the first half of 2021, he was among the top relievers in baseball, showcasing a remarkable 2.61 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and 14.9 K/9, earning him a two-year extension with the Red Sox.

However, the latter part of the season saw a significant decline, with Barnes failing to secure a spot in the Red Sox's initial playoff roster due to a slump in performance and health issues, including two stints on the COVID-19 IL and a late-season injury.

Despite these challenges, Barnes' potential remains evident, highlighted by his high strikeout rate and the ability to generate more swinging strikes by adjusting his pitch selection​.

As Barnes prepares for his showcase, teams in need of bullpen reinforcement might see him as a valuable addition. The Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Mets are some teams who could be interested in him.

His experience, proven track record in high-pressure situations, and the potential for a return to form make him an intriguing option for clubs looking to bolster their pitching staff for the upcoming season.

The showcase will be a critical opportunity for Barnes to prove that he has overcome his recent challenges and is ready to contribute at a high level once again. Photo Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports