The Red Sox have signed closer Matt Barnes to a two-year contract extension that includes a club option for the 2024 season, the team announced Sunday morning.
The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier was the first to report that the two sides were nearing a deal.
Per Speier, the official terms of Barnes’ deal are $18.75 million over two years with an option, meaning the reliever will earn $7.25 million in 2022 and an additional $7. 5 million in 2023.
On top of that, the club option for a potential third season in worth $8 million, though the Red Sox could opt to buy Barnes out for an approximate $2.25 million if they so choose.
Additionally, Barnes will net himself an instant $1.75 million in the form of a signing bonus, while escalators based off games finished over the course of the contract can increase the value of the club option to $10 million — a $2 million raise, potentially.
All that being said, the total value of Barnes’ new deal can reach $26.5 million over three seasons if the right-hander reaches his escalators and has his option picked up, as noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.
At the very least, the total amount of guaranteed money included in Barnes’ extension is $18.75 million, as noted by Speier.
Barnes, who turned 31 last month, is in the midst of a career year in which he was selected to his very first All-Star team last weekend.
Coming into play on Sunday, the fiery righty has posted a 2.68 ERA and 2.07 xFIP to go along with 62 strikeouts to just 10 walks over 37 relief appearances spanning 37 total innings of work this season. He has also converted 19 of a possible 23 save opportunities.
Among qualified American League relievers, Barnes ranks 18th in appearances, third in strikeouts, third in strikeouts per nine innings (15.08), first in strikeout percentage (44.6%), seventh in batting average against (.171), sixth in WHIP (0.86), 21st in ERA, first in expected ERA (1.76), fourth in FIP (2.04), first in xFIP, first in SIERA (1.71), and second in fWAR (1.7), per FanGraphs.
The Red Sox originally selected Barnes with the 19th overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft out of the University of Connecticut.
Since making his major-league debut in 2014, Barnes has emerged as one of the more consistent and durable relievers in Boston’s bullpen, which ultimately helped him land the closer role heading into the 2021 season.
While he has excelled in that role thus far, Barnes, who was in his final year of team control, will not be hitting the open market this winter as he was originally slated to do. Instead, he will remain with the organization he began his professional career with through at least the 2023 season.
Barnes had said previously that he was interested in signing an extension with the Red Sox to remain with the club long-term, and that is what winds up happening in a rare in-season announcement.
(Picture of Matt Barnes: Theoron W. Henderson/Getty Images)