fb-pixel Skip to main content
RED SOX

Matt Barnes, Kevin Plawecki agree to deals with Red Sox, while arbitration process begins for Rafael Devers

Matt Barnes had an uneven 2020 season, but the presumed closer finished strong and received a contract from the team for the 2021 season, his last before free agency.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The Red Sox’ offseason plans came a bit more into focus Wednesday evening. The Globe confirmed the team agreed to terms with four of their five arbitration-eligible players before the non-tender deadline: Matt Barnes, Kevin Plawecki, Ryan Brasier, and Austin Brice.

The fifth player, Rafael Devers, was tendered and is now under contract for 2021. Arbitration eligible for the first time, the Sox and Devers have approximately two months to reach an agreement. Otherwise, the sides would go to a hearing to determine his salary.

The Red Sox also signed utility player Yairo Munoz and pitcher Chris Mazza for next season. Munoz got $582,500, and Mazza $576,000.

Advertisement



Barnes, entering his final year before free agency, will earn $4.5 million. Plawecki is set to earn $1.6 million in his second year of arbitration, while Brasier and Brice will reel in $1.25 million and $870,000, respectively, in their first.

There was much speculation that the Sox would non-tender Barnes, who displayed some inconsistencies with his fastball and breaking stuff at times and didn’t have his best season, tossing 23 innings with a 4.30 ERA and a 1.391 WHIP. However, a part of that might have been due to a non-traditional buildup to a 60-game season. Barnes put together a solid September, compiling a 2.70 ERA, 15 strikeouts, and four walks in 11 appearances (10 innings) — proof of what he can be when he’s on.

Ryan Brasier delivers a pitch during an intrasquad game at Fenway this past July.Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

Brasier came into 2020 hoping for a redemptive season, his stellar 2018 feeling long ago after his ERA more than tripled, to 4.85 in 55⅔ innings, the following year. He found some of that old form last year, when he compiled a 3.96 ERA, striking out 30 batters in 25 innings and seeing a slight uptick in his velocity from 96.4 in 2019 to 96.7.

Backup catcher Plawecki, meanwhile, found success at the plate, hitting .341 in 89 plate appearances, giving the Sox offense a much-needed boost in the absence of some of their quality hitters. He struggled behind the plate, though, allowing 12 stolen bases out of 16 attempts.

Advertisement



Brice, traded from Miami to the Red Sox in January, had a 5.95 ERA in 19⅔ innings.

Also Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs claimed righthanded reliever Robert Stock off waivers. Stock pitched parts of the 2020 season with the Red Sox, compiling a 4.73 ERA in 13⅓ innings of work. He was designated for assignment on Nov. 25, making room to claim righthander Joel Payamps off waivers from Arizona.


Julian McWilliams can be reached at julian.mcwilliams@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @byJulianMack.