Pass the torch? Matt Barnes got a text from Craig Kimbrel after save

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Matt Barnes hasn't officially been named the Red Sox's closer, but he heard from the guy who last held the title after notching his first save.
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Pass the torch? Matt Barnes got a text from Craig Kimbrel after save originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com

Even in unemployment, Craig Kimbrel is keeping close tabs on his former teammates.

After earning the save Friday night in the Boston Red Sox's first win of the season, reliever Matt Barnes said he got a congratulatory text from Kimbrel, Boston's All-Star closer of the previous three seasons.

"I was fortunate enough to have Craig here for multiple years," Barnes told reporters in Seattle, via MassLive.com. "Learned a lot from him and the way he goes about his business and conducts himself. So, I try to pull on some of that stuff. He's been a great friend."

Barnes looked somewhat Kimbrel-esque against the Mariners on Friday night, striking out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth inning to seal Boston's dramatic 7-6 victory.

Manager Alex Cora stopped short of bestowing Kimbrel's former title on Barnes after the game, though, as the Red Sox still appear committed to a closer-by-committee approach.

Kimbrel, meanwhile, is still unsigned in free agency after his Red Sox contract expired last winter. The 30-year-old still is an elite closer, so he shouldn't be out of a job much longer with the regular season underway.

Until he finds a new gig, though, it appears he'll be checking in on some Red Sox games.

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