Matt Barnes was born June 17, 1990, in Danbury, Connecticut. He is a pitcher in the MLB.
The Boston Red Sox selected Barnes with the 19th overall selection in the 2011 MLB draft. During the 2012 season, Barnes appeared in five games for the Class A Greenville Drive and 20 games for the Class A-Advanced Salem Red Sox—all starts—posting an overall record of 7–5 with a 2.86 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 119 2⁄3 innings pitched. He was selected to appear in the 2012 All-Star Futures Game.
Barnes was included on Boston's Opening Day roster to start the 2019 season. He appeared in 70 games, recording a 5–4 record with four saves, a 3.78 ERA, and 110 strikeouts in 64+1⁄3 innings. During the start-delayed 2020 season, Barnes was the team's de facto closer after Brandon Workman was traded. Overall with the 2020 Red Sox, Barnes appeared in 24 games, all in relief, compiling a 1–3 record with 9 saves, 4.70 ERA, and 31 strikeouts in 23 innings pitched.
In early December 2020, Barnes and the Red Sox reached a one-year deal for the 2021 season, worth a reported $4.5 million. In late March 2021, Barnes tested positive for COVID-19, although it was subsequently announced that the result was a false positive. Barnes began the season as the team's closer, recording six saves in the first month of the season and being named the American League Reliever of the Month for April. On July 4, he was named to the American League roster for the MLB All-Star Game. On July 11, the Red Sox reached an agreement with Barnes on a two-year contract extension, including a team option for the 2024 season. Barnes was on the COVID-related injured list for one day in early August. He later tested positive at the end of the month, and did not return to the team until September 17. Barnes struggled in the second half of the season, and eventually lost his role as the closer before the end of the season. As a result of his struggles, Barnes was left off the initial ALDS and ALCS rosters for the Red Sox, although he was added onto the ALDS roster after an injury to Garrett Richards. It was later revealed that Barnes had cut off the tip of the thumb on his left (non-throwing) hand with a knife while cooking, which contributed to his late season struggles. Overall during the 2021 regular season, Barnes made 60 appearances, all in relief, with a 3.79 ERA while registering 24 saves and striking out 84 batters in 54+2⁄3 innings.
Barnes returned to the Red Sox bullpen for the 2022 season. He compiled a 7.94 ERA through the end of May, and was placed on the injured list with shoulder inflammation on June 1. On July 13, Barnes was transferred to the 60-day injured list. He returned to the team on August 4. In 44 games with the Red Sox during 2022, Barnes accrued a 4.31 ERA with an 0–4 record and 8 saves, while striking out 34 batters in 39+2⁄3 innings.
On January 24, 2023, Barnes was designated for assignment by the Red Sox, to clear roster space for Adam Duvall. On the 30th, he was traded to the Miami Marlins.
In his free time, Matt Barnes is an avid gamer.