Barnes will make his spring debut Saturday against the Mets, Chris Cotillo of reports.

Barnes had been scheduled to debut next week, but he was deemed ready to go sooner. The 28-year-old right-hander is the leading candidate to close games for Boston or be the primary closer with Ryan Brasier (toe) still in the mix. Barnes has been an important bullpen arm the last three seasons, but his track record as a closer is limited and spotty. He has a career 5.22 ERA in the ninth inning (29.1 IP). Barnes can bring the heat but has battled control problems during his career and walked 4.5 batters per nine innings in 2018.

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