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Red Sox avoid arb with Barnes, three others

@IanMBrowne
December 2, 2020

The Red Sox finished off a flurry of activity leading up to Wednesday’s 8 p.m. ET non-tender deadline, announcing that they avoided arbitration by reaching one-year deals with righty relievers Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier and Austin Brice along with backup catcher Kevin Plawecki. The pacts came on the heels of

The Red Sox finished off a flurry of activity leading up to Wednesday’s 8 p.m. ET non-tender deadline, announcing that they avoided arbitration by reaching one-year deals with righty relievers Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier and Austin Brice along with backup catcher Kevin Plawecki.

The pacts came on the heels of the one-year, $8.3 million deal the club reached with lefty Eduardo Rodriguez on Tuesday.

While the Sox haven’t yet agreed to a new contract with star third baseman Rafael Devers, they did tender him an offer prior to the deadline.

Though there were non-tendered players around baseball who became free agents on Wednesday, none came from the Red Sox.

Barnes, who became Boston’s closer when Brandon Workman was traded in August, agreed to a deal worth $4.5 million, a source told MLB.com. The club did not confirm the value of the deals.

It is unclear if Barnes will compete for the closer’s role in Spring Training or if he’ll revert to the setup role he’s fit into so well for most of his career.

The contracts for Brasier and Brice were for $1.25 million and $870,000, respectively.

Brasier was a star for the Red Sox in the championship postseason of 2018 but hasn’t been as consistent the last two years. In 2020, he had a 3.96 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 25 outings.

Brice also hopes to be more consistent going forward than he was last season, when he notched a 5.95 ERA in 21 appearances.

The Red Sox were pleased with the job Plawecki did as the backup for Christian Vázquez. The 29-year-old signed a $1.6 million deal.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.