The Chicago White Sox did it! Liam Hendriks is coming to the South Side!
The Chicago White Sox did as good of a thing as they can do this offseason. With Alex Colome’s potential leaving in free agency, it was clear that they needed a new closer. They took their money and added Liam Hendriks who is probably the best closer in Major League Baseball. Ken Rosenthal and James Fegan of The Athletic were the first to report the news. This is great stuff for people who believe that this team has a chance to win the World Series.
Jeff Passan of ESPN was the first person to report the terms of the deal. The deal is a bit confusing but Passan has it clearly online. It is a three-year deal that pays him 39 million dollars guaranteed. The fourth-year has a buyout and an option that pays him 15 million dollars no matter what. The deal in total is worth 54 million dollars no matter how it goes. If they decline the final year, the 15 can be paid out over the span of multiple years.
On the field, Hendriks is going to provide elite closer pitching. He should help the White Sox win any and all games that they have a lead late in the ballgame. He is also the anchor of one of the best bullpens in the world. He will pitch after studs like Aaron Bummer, Evan Marshall, Matt Foster, Codi Heuer, and Garrett Crochet amongst others. That will provide the rotation and starting lineup with a big boost. The key will be Tony La Russa putting every one of them in a position to succeed.
Hendriks has been one of the best closers in the league for a while now. In 2020, he was clearly the best one. The White Sox even faced him in their playoff loss to the Oakland A’s. In the regular season, he had a record of 3-1 which isn’t bad for a closer. He had a 1.78 ERA with a 0.671 WHIP and 37 strikeouts in 25.1 innings pitched.
He was so good that he came in ninth place for the American League Cy Young Award and 13th place for MVP. That is nice recognition for a guy who goes for no more than an inning when he is out there. You know that when he comes in the game, it is over if you have a lead. That will be especially nice when the playoffs roll around. This is a great signing and it is time to get excited.