President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Barnes is a candidate to close for the Red Sox in 2019, Chris Cotillo of reports.

With Craig Kimbrel still a free agent, Dombrowski named Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Steven Wright and Tyler Thornburg as internal options who could potentially take over as Boston's closer in 2019. Barnes and Brasier are apparently the two frontrunners for the gig, though the Red Sox could also bring in another capable back-end arm prior to the start of the season. The 28-year-old righty compiled a 3.65 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 61.2 innings of relief in 2018.

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