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#pounditTuesday, April 16, 2024

Ex-Red Sox champion pitcher signs deal with NL team

A Boston Red Sox hat

Aug 23, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Hats and gloves from the Boston Red Sox team near the edge of the dugout before the game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

A former Boston Red Sox champion is now headed some 400 miles south.

Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reported Tuesday that the Washington Nationals have agreed to a minor-league contract with right-handed reliever Matt Barnes. They are also giving Barnes a big-league camp invite, pending a physical.

Barnes, 33, pitched for the Red Sox from 2014-22. He won the 2018 World Series with them and then became their full-time closer, making the AL All-Star team in 2021. Last season for the Miami Marlins though, Barnes posted a 5.48 ERA over 24 relief appearances before he underwent hip surgery that ended his year in July.

While the Nationals are mostly set with Kyle Finnegan as their closer and Hunter Harvey as their setup man (both of whom are righties as well), it never hurts to add more depth. Earlier this winter, Washington also signed another well-known ex-AL East player.

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