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Sox strike deals with JBJ, 3 relievers

@jessicacamerato
January 10, 2020

Agreeing to a record-setting $27 million deal, per a source, with Mookie Betts wasn’t the only work the Red Sox did on Friday ahead of the 1 p.m. ET arbitration deadline to exchange salary figures. The Red Sox avoided arbitration with center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. as well as right-handed

Agreeing to a record-setting $27 million deal, per a source, with Mookie Betts wasn’t the only work the Red Sox did on Friday ahead of the 1 p.m. ET arbitration deadline to exchange salary figures.

The Red Sox avoided arbitration with center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. as well as right-handed relievers Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree by agreeing to one-year deals. Bradley's deal is for $11 million, while Barnes' is worth $3.1 million, Workman's $3.5 million and Hembree's $1.6125 million, sources told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

The team did not agree to deals with arbitration-eligible left fielder Andrew Benintendi and left-handed starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez. Per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Benintendi filed at $4.15 million (Red Sox filed at $3.4 million) and Rodriguez filed at $8.975 million (Red Sox filed at $8.3 million). The club can still work out a deal with Benintendi and Rodriguez, but if none is reached by a February hearing date, a panel of arbitrators will select either the team's or the player's salary figure.

Bradley, 29, hit .225/.317/.421 with 21 home runs last season, and he led the American League in putouts and assists at his position. His 2020 salary is a significant increase after he earned $8.55 million in ‘19. While the Red Sox settled on Friday with their starting right fielder and center fielder, where Betts ends up playing in the future could impact Bradley. If Betts, who has been mentioned in trade rumors, stays in Boston, the team could explore trade possibilities for Bradley as it looks to keep its payroll below the $208 million luxury-tax threshold.

Barnes, 29, will nearly double his $1.6 million salary from last season -- a year in which he posted a 5-4 record with a 3.78 ERA and four saves in 64 1/3 innings over 70 games.

Workman, who is in his final year of arbitration, emerged as Boston’s closer in the second half of last season. He went 10-1 with a 1.88 ERA and 16 saves in 73 games while earning $1.115 million in 2019. Both he and Barnes have played their entire careers with the Red Sox.

Hembree, who will be 31 when the 2020 season starts, is looking to bounce back from a '19 campaign in which he was limited to 45 games because of right elbow injuries. He went 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA and two saves in 39 2/3 innings. The setup man receives a slight raise from last season’s $1.3 million salary.

Benintendi, who earned $717,500 in 2019, was projected by Cot’s Baseball Contracts at $4.25 million in ‘20, his first year of arbitration eligibility. The 25-year-old left fielder hit .266/.343/.431 with 13 home runs last season.

Rodriguez was projected by Cot’s to earn $9 million in 2020, more than twice his $4.3 million salary from last season, when he went 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA. Rodriguez falls under the category of a Super Two player, which gives him four years of arbitration eligibility instead of three because of the service time he earned as a rookie in ‘15.

Red Sox acquire Brice from Marlins

Boston also made a trade on Friday, acquiring righty reliever Austin Brice from Miami for Minor League shortstop Angeudis Santos. The 27-year-old Brice posted career bests with a 3.43 ERA, 44 2/3 innings pitched and 9.27 strikeouts per nine innings in 36 appearances last season for the Marlins. Boston designated infielder Marco Hernández for assignment to make room for Brice on the 40-man roster.

Jessica Camerato covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @jessicacamerato, Facebook and Instagram.