Red Sox agree to terms with five players on one-year contracts

January 10th, 2020

BOSTON, MA—The Boston Red Sox today agreed to terms with five players on one-year contracts for the 2020 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration: Matt Barnes, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Heath Hembree, and Brandon Workman.

Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom made the announcement.

With today’s agreements, outfielder Andrew Benintendi and left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez are the only remaining unsigned Red Sox players eligible for salary arbitration.

Barnes, 29, matched a career high with 70 appearances in 2019, posting a 3.78 ERA (27 ER/64.1 IP) with a career-best 110 strikeouts. He averaged 15.39 strikeouts per 9.0 innings, the highest mark among American League relievers. The right-hander is the only AL pitcher with at least 60.0 innings pitched and 60 appearances in each of the last four seasons (2016-19), and in that time he leads American League relievers in both appearances (264) and strikeouts (360). Selected by Boston in the first round (19th overall) in the 2011 June Draft, Barnes is 25-18 with a 4.07 ERA (142 ER/314.1 IP) in 301 career appearances since making his major league debut in 2014.

Betts, 27, led the majors with a career-high 135 runs scored last season, hitting .295 (176-for-597) with a .915 OPS, 40 doubles, 29 home runs, and 80 RBI in 150 games. Selected to his fourth consecutive All-Star Game in 2019, he also earned his fourth consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Award and his third Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award. Betts finished eighth in BBWAA American League Most Valuable Player voting, after winning the award in 2018. Selected by Boston in the fifth round of the 2011 June Draft, he has hit .301 (965-for-3,203) with 229 doubles, 26 triples, 139 home runs, 470 RBI, and 613 runs scored in 794 major league games.

Bradley, 29, hit .225 (111-for-494) with 21 home runs and 62 RBI in 147 games in 2019. He led American League center fielders in both assists (10) and doubles plays (3) last season, as he was named a finalist for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Since the beginning of 2014, Bradley leads the AL with 55 outfield assists and paces all major league outfielders with 20 double plays. Selected by Boston in the supplemental first round (40th overall) of the 2011 June Draft, Bradley has hit .236 (638-for-2,708) with 91 home runs and 354 RBI in 818 games since debuting in 2013, and was a member of both the 2013 and 2018 World Series championship clubs.

Hembree, 30, was limited to 45 appearances in 2019 due to two stints on the injured list, posting a 3.86 ERA (17 ER/39.2 IP) and a .224 opponent batting average. Over a 24-appearance span from April 25-July 14, the right-hander allowed only two earned runs in 20.2 innings (0.87 ERA) while recording 30 strikeouts. Originally selected by the Giants in the fifth round of the 2010 June Draft, Hembree is 13-5 with a 3.52 ERA (100 ER/255.2 IP) in 249 career relief appearances between San Francisco (2013) and Boston (2014-19), with his 240 appearances for the Red Sox trailing only Matt Barnes (299) for most on the club since the beginning of 2014.

Workman, 31, went 10-1 with 16 saves and a 1.88 ERA (15 ER/71.2 IP) over a career-high 73 appearances in 2019. He held opponents to a .123 batting average, the majors’ lowest single-season mark since 1900 among those with at least 60.0 innings pitched (source: Elias Sports Bureau). Last season he also led major league relievers with a .166 opponent slugging percentage, a .433 opponent OPS, and 0.13 home runs allowed per 9.0 innings (min. 50.0 IP), having surrendered only one home run in 2019. Selected by Boston in the second round of the 2010 June Draft, Workman is 24-16 with a 3.74 ERA (117 ER/281.1 IP) in 188 major league appearances (18 starts).