Baltimore Orioles Acquire LHP Scott Barnes from the Indians


Apr 28, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Cleveland Indians pitcher Scott Barnes (51) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the eighth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City won 9-0. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Various sources have reported this afternoon that the Baltimore Orioles have gained the services of LBP reliever Scott Barnes from Cleveland. He became expendable as the Indians needed to clear a roster space on their 40-man in order to add RHP Charles Brewer – whom they got from the Diamondbacks. Both of these deals involved cash considerations from the new organization.

Barnes was with the Indians in short windows of time in 2012 and 2013, where he was a combined 0-1 in 24 games and 27.2 innings. His ERA for that time is 5.82 with a WHIP of 1.265.  None of his appearances were against the Orioles.

Over his minor league career since being an 8th round pick of the Giants in 2008, he has an ERA of 4.12.  Like many pitchers, he was originally a starter, but had control issues. He specializes in throwing a low 90s four-seamer and a slider.

For the most recent 2014 season spent at AAA Columbus, Barnes was 3-2 with a 3.69 ERA, though it was only in a total of 25 games and 31.2 innings. It was a left lat strain that ended his season in June. Injuries also claimed his season early in 2011 with an ACL tear, and in 2013 with a sprained left wrist.

This gives the Orioles an additional left-handed relief option. It might be pondered, “If this guy was not good enough to have been in the Indians’ bullpen in 2014 or in their plans for 2015, why would he fit with the Baltimore Orioles?”  The Cleveland Indians have others problems as a team, but their bullpen is pretty solid. The O’s finished third in the AL with a bullpen ERA of 3.10, while the Indians were right behind at 3.12. Barnes was lost in the Tribe’s pen behind southpaws Marc Rzepczynski, Kyle Crockett, and Nick Hagadone.

A problem also for Barnes, which factored into him falling through the cracks with plans for the Indians, is that he is out of options. That is not helpful for the Orioles in terms of the shuttle between Baltimore and Norfolk.

Along with being the sort of reclamation project that Dan Duquette loves and that has occasionally paid dividends for the Orioles at low investment, perhaps he could become a low-cost alternative to Brian Matusz as a lefty specialist?

This gives the Baltimore Orioles 39 names on their 40-man roster in advance of a probable pick-up of a Rule 5 Draftee.