Chicago White Sox: Keep an eye on Liam Hendriks in free agency

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Liam Hendriks is an option to come and be the new Chicago White Sox closer.

The Chicago White Sox are more than likely not going to have Alex Colome back for the 2021 season. It is a tough loss because of the fact that he was a great closer for them for a long time. It won’t matter that much, however, if they bring in someone who is just as good or better. Right now, Liam Hendriks is the rumored target for Rick Hahn and that would be a fantastic addition for the White Sox.

When you get to the late innings, the ninth in particular, it is very important that you have someone who can come in and end the game for you. You see it around baseball a lot, where teams have a great offense and awesome starting pitching but the back end of their bullpen makes it very hard for them to win a lot of games.

If the White Sox added Liam Hendriks to the mix, they would instantly have one of the best bullpens in all of Major League Baseball. They have studs like Aaron Bummer and Evan Marshall ready to go so having Hendriks behind them would be so sweet.

Hendriks was a closer with the Oakland Athletics for the past two seasons. Before that, he was either a normal reliever or starting pitcher with the A’s, Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, and Toronto Blue Jays. Making the switch to closer has been amazing for him as he has been straight-up dominant.

In 2020, he was one of the best closers in all of baseball. He was so good at his job that he came in ninth place for the American League Cy Young Award. You don’t see relievers get those types of accolades because of the fact that they don’t pitch as much but Hendriks was so good that he deserved it. He appeared in 24 games where he accumulated 25.1 innings pitched. He ended with a 3-1 record as he was given some decisions and he had 14 saves. His ERA was a crisp 1.78 with a WHIP of 0.671.

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Those numbers had him come in 13th place for the American League MVP. You read that right, the award that Jose Abreu won for being so dominant had a closer on the ballot a lot of the time. It goes to show what people think of Hendriks as a closer (his 1.4 WAR supports that claim). In 2019, he was so good in the first half that he was an All-Star. If the White Sox can add a closer like this they would be even better than if they had Colome.