MLB Rumors: Liam Hendricks and the Chicago White Sox have agreed on terms on a three year deal with a fourth year club option that guarantees Hendricks $54 million, per reports.
Hendricks, who turns 32 next month, had a remarkable journey to becoming the most highly sought after free agent closer this offseason. Signed as a free agent out of Australia by the Minnesota Twins in 2007, Hendricks came up as a starter, and had brief stints in the majors as a starter for the Twins in 2011-13. He was waived and claimed three times in the 2013-14 offseason, ultimately starting the season with the Toronto Blue Jays, then was dealt to the Kansas City Royals in July, 2014, with Erik Kratz for Danny Valencia.
The Royals sent him back to Toronto after the 2014 season, and Hendricks had a very good 2015, working full time out of the bullpen for the first time. After 2015, Hendricks was dealt to the Oakland A’s for Jesse Chavez.
Hendricks was decent from 2016-18, a middling middle reliever, but has been dominant since the start of 2019. In 110 innings over 99 games since the start of 2019, Hendricks has struck out 161 batters, walked just 24 (6 of those intentionally), and put up a 1.70 FIP and a 1.79 ERA. Hendricks added a couple of mph in velocity on his high spin fastball after 2018, and his ability to command it with the increased velocity has paid dividends.
$18 million per year for three years is more than I think was expected for Hendricks, but the White Sox are moving aggressively in a relatively weak division and are in win-now mode.