The Royals have claimed righty Jacob Barnes off waivers from Milwaukee and optioned him to Triple-A Omaha, the team reports.
Though Barnes did struggle to prevent runs for the Crew this season, it’s a bit of a surprise to see the 29-year-old dangled on waivers given his stellar track record in Milwaukee. In 167 innings for the Crew since his debut in 2016, Barnes posted a very respectable 3.93 ERA/3.68 FIP, numbers which, when park-adjusted for the Brewers’ bandbox of a yard, place him firmly within reliable 7th-inning territory. Barnes’ homer rate, like so many across the league, shot up to a career-worst 1.37 per nine this season, and his command temporarily abandoned him (5.03 BB/9), but it shouldn’t be a lengthy reclamation project for the 6’2 righty.
There’s an argument to be made that Barnes is already Kansas City’s second-best reliever; his track record, anyway, is second to only longtime starter Ian Kennedy’s in its patchwork unit. His initial report to Omaha, if more than simple posturing, should end quickly: the club needs another quality arm as soon as it can get it.