Connecticut native, former UConn star Matt Barnes designated for assignment by Red Sox

Connecticut native and former UConn pitcher Matt Barnes was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Tuesday night.

Barnes was removed from Boston's 40-man roster to make room for newly-signed free agent outfielder Adam Duvall. The Red Sox have a week to trade Barnes while he is on waivers.

If he is not traded or claimed, Barnes will become a free agent. Pitchers and catchers begin reporting to spring training on February 13. 

Barnes has been with the Red Sox for nine seasons and was the longest tenured player on the roster, appearing in 429 games with Boston dating back to 2014. The Bethel native earned a win in the 2018 World Series and was an All-Star in 2021. 

Barnes, 32, ranks second all-time in Red Sox history in both relief appearances and strikeouts in relief (547). Overall, he has a 4.07 ERA with 47 saves in his career.

In 2022, he appeared in 44 games, notching eight saves and 34 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings with a 4.31 ERA and a 1.437 WHIP in what was a down year for the veteran.  He had a 7.94 ERA through May 30 before he went on the injured list with inflammation in his shoulder.

Barnes was better after returning in early August, posting a 1.59 ERA in his last 24 appearances.

Ironically, Barnes grew up in Connecticut as a huge Yankee fan before he was drafted 19th overall in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft.

Before his professional days, Barnes set the UConn program record with 247 strikeouts over his three seasons. He was also the 2011 Big East Pitcher of the Year and was named a first team All-American. 

In 2008, Barnes was selected to the New Haven Register All-State Baseball team along side fellow Connecticut native and major league pitcher Dominic Leone.