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Twins trade deadline target: Former MLB GM says Red Sox reliever would make sense in Minnesota

Matt Barnes
Boston Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes works out in the bullpen during baseball training camp at Fenway Park, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The Twins could be looking for pitching leading up to the MLB trade deadline at 3 p.m. Monday. Jim Bowden, a former general manager for the Reds and Senators, identified one reliever who could help.

In an article for the Athletic, Bowden said the one move he would like to see the Twins make is acquiring righthanded reliever Matt Barnes from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for minor league righthander Josh Winder.

Winder, a seventh-round pick by the Twins in 2018, went 7-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 21 starts last season with Single-A Cedar Rapids and is ranked 30th by MLB.com among the Twins’ prospects. The 23-year-old is not part of the team’s 60-man roster for this season, so he could not be officially traded by Monday, but he could be included in a deal as a player to be named.

As for Barnes, Bowden wrote:

Barnes, 30, pitched in at least 62 games in each of the last four years out of the Red Sox bullpen, including 70 games last year. His ERA over that span was under 4. Last year he posted a 3.78 ERA, striking out 110 hitters in just 64 1/3 innings of work. He’s off to a slow start this season, as shown by his 5.73 ERA over 11 appearances, and his velocity is down 1 mph across the board, but that’s probably because of either the shortened spring training or a tweak needed in his mechanics. The Twins could use some veteran bullpen depth and Barnes should fit the bill.

Barnes’ earned-run average actually has grown to 6.00 in 12 appearances and 12 innings. He has struck out 15 but also walked nine and given up three home runs. Barnes, in his seventh season with the Red Sox, was 5-4 with a 3.78 ERA in 70 appearances last season. If Derek Falvey, the Twins’ president of baseball operations, is interested in Barnes, it would be because he is confident pitching coach Wes Johnson could fix any flaws the Twins have seen from Barnes in Boston.