"It's awesome any time you get to face him," Barnes said. "It's going to be exciting to see him come out of the bullpen, I'll tell you that."
Astros outfielder L.J. Hoes was hoping to get in the box against Rivera.
"I'm just hoping I get the opportunity," he said.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi hinted earlier this week that Rivera could get some time in center field at some point this weekend.
"He's Mariano Rivera," Barnes said. "He can do whatever he wants. If he wants to play a game in center field, let him play a game in center field. He's great. Not only one of the greatest closers of all time, but one of the greatest guys of all time."
Astros manager Bo Porter said he would have no issue with Rivera in center field.
"Whatever it is they decide to do, I'm all in," he said. "He deserves it. He's arguably one of the best pitchers or even players to play in this league."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.