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Matt Barnes didn’t expect to leave the Red Sox, but he’s ready for a fresh start in Miami

There's no hard feelings for Matt Barnes after leaving Boston.Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Matt Barnes was blindsided when the Red Sox designated him for assignment last week, but there are no hard feelings.

“I mean we won a handful of division titles, went to the ALCS, and won a World Series,” Barnes said during his introductory Marlins news conference Tuesday. “So I don’t look back on my time with the Red Sox with any animosity.”

The Sox ultimately found a trade partner in the Marlins, sending the reliever — who turned himself into an All-Star in 2021 but lost his way shortly thereafter — to Miami in exchange for lefthander Richard Bleier.

Barnes held his opponents to a .174 batting average before the break in 2021, registering a 2.61 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 38 innings. Over the next season and a half the righthander struggled, putting together a 4.95 ERA in 66 games.


“Probably single handedly the most frustrating stretch of my career,” Barnes said. “I go from being an All-Star closer to not making a postseason roster to being terrible for two months. And then on the IL for another two months [in 2022]. Like, you went from the highest to the lowest in the blink of an eye.”

Barnes is ready to start a new phase of his career in Miami.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Barnes hinted at the idea that he might have been overworked by the Sox after retweeting a graphic that showed his usage over the years. Barnes did not comment on sharing the post.

However, earlier in the presser, Barnes noted a stretch that began at the start of August against Toronto. Barnes was used six times during an 12-day stretch and threw twice on Aug. 7 in a doubleheader against the Blue Jays. It was then that Barnes felt his stuff begin to fade.

“I kind of lost my mechanics a little bit,” Barnes said. “I got tired. So then I tried to create more and then created really bad habits.”


The book closing with the Red Sox, though, comes with appreciation.

“I’m incredibly thankful for everything that they’ve given me and the opportunities that they’ve given me,” Barnes said. “We did a lot of really, really good things in that city.”

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