The Mets have hired former Blue Jays right-hander Danny Barnes as an assistant coach on the Major League staff, manager Buck Showalter announced to reporters Friday (Twitter link via Anthony DiComo of MLB.com). Barnes, 32, will have a broad-reaching role in the newly created coaching position, Showalter added.
“He’s played in the big leagues, knows his way around the major league locker room,” Showalter said (link via Danny Abriano of SNY). “…We didn’t get too titled up. … He can do a little bit of everything.”
A 35th-round draft pick of the Blue Jays back in 2010, Barnes reached the Majors in 2016, tossing 13 2/3 innings while yielding six runs on 14 hits and five walks with 14 punchouts. He was a regular member of the Toronto the following season — his lone full year at the MLB level. Barnes racked up 66 innings of 3.55 ERA ball and finished off 13 games for the ’17 Jays, but the pendulum swung in the other direction in 2018. In 41 frames that season, Barnes was clobbered for a 5.71 ERA as his strikeout, walk and hard-contact rates all went in the wrong direction.
Barnes became a free agent following the 2019 season and had been set to join the Orioles for the 2020 campaign, but the pandemic-driven shutdown left him in limbo. Barnes wasn’t included in Baltimore’s 60-man player pool during the shortened season and became a free agent again last winter, at which point he signed on with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League. Barnes tossed 16 1/3 solid frames for the Ducks in 2021, but it seems he’ll now transition into the next phase of his baseball career.
In parts of three big league seasons, Barnes logged 120 2/3 innings with a 4.33 ERA, and he managed a 2.69 ERA in 344 2/3 frames over the course of ten seasons in the minors. He’ll join a Mets coaching staff that already includes a handful of former big leaguers. Jeremy Hefner is slated to return as the team’s pitching coach in 2022 and the Mets tabbed Eric Chavez as their new hitting coach recently as well. Former infielder Joey Cora (third base coach) and outfielder Wayne Kirby (first base coach), both of whom last appeared in the bigs in 1998, were also both hired to the staff over the winter.