Red Sox complete $7 million deal with Duvall, cut Barnes

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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BOSTON – Adam Duvall and the Boston Red Sox finalized their one-year, $7 million contract.

The veteran outfielder can earn another $3 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances. The sides agreed to terms last week, pending a physical.

To make room for Duvall on the 40-man roster, Boston cut former closer Matt Barnes – an All-Star in 2021 and a key member of the Red Sox bullpen for much of his nine-year career.

In a surprise move, the 32-year-old Barnes was designated for assignment, meaning the team has seven days to trade, release or send him outright to the minors. The right-handed reliever has more than $10.6 million remaining on his contract.

Duvall, 34, enters his 10th major league season, having played for the Giants, Reds, Marlins and two stints with Atlanta. He was an All-Star for Cincinnati in 2016 and won a Gold Glove for the Braves in 2021, batting .228 with 38 homers and an NL-leading 113 RBIs to help lead them to a World Series championship.

His addition helps the Red Sox keep Kike Hernandez in the infield, where they have lost shortstop Xander Bogaerts to free agency and his replacement, Trevor Story, to elbow surgery.

Duvall, a right-handed hitter, batted .213 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs in 86 games for Atlanta last season. He made 43 starts in center field, 26 in left and 11 in right.

In all, Duvall has a .230 batting average with 163 home runs and 478 RBIs. He hit three homers in a game at Fenway Park on Sept. 2, 2020. He had two home runs and six RBIs during the 2021 World Series for Atlanta.

Duvall gets a $1 million signing bonus and a $6 million salary this season. He can earn an additional $500,000 each for 350, 400, 450 and 500 plate appearances, and $1 million for 550 plate appearances.

Barnes helped the Red Sox win the 2018 World Series, going 6-4 with a 3.65 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 62 games covering 61 2/3 innings as a hard-throwing setup man that season.

He developed into the team’s closer and had 24 saves in 2021, making the AL All-Star squad before struggling in the second half and losing the job. He fell to 0-4 with a 4.31 ERA and eight saves in 44 appearances last year, striking out 34 batters and walking 21 in 39 2/3 innings.

Barnes, born and raised in nearby Connecticut, was drafted 19th overall by Boston in 2011 out of UConn. A converted starter, he is 32-30 with a 4.07 ERA and 47 saves in nine big league seasons with the Red Sox, and was the longest-tenured member of the team.

He ranks second in franchise history in relief appearances and strikeouts in relief.

Guardians trade OF Will Benson to Reds for OF Justin Boyd

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Guardians traded outfielder Will Benson to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday for outfielder Justin Boyd.

The defending AL Central champions also will get a player to be named from the Reds in the swap.

Cincinnati drafted Boyd in the second round last year out of Oregon State. He led the Pac-12 with a .373 batting average and 24 steals in 2022. The 21-year-old batted .203 in 73 at-bats for Class-A Daytona.

The 6-foot-5 Benson spent 28 games with the Guardians last season, batting .182 with three RBIs in 28 games. The 24-year-old struggled at the plate, striking out 19 times in just 55 at-bats.

Benson was once considered one of Cleveland’s top outfield prospects, but has since been surpassed by Steven Kwan, Oscar Gonzalez and Will Brennan.