White Sox sign relay Liam Hendriks for record contract

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The Chicago White Sox signed free agent relay Liam Hendriks on a three-year, $ 54 million contract, according to Ken Rosenthal of Athletic. Jim Bowden, a CBS Sports HQ Baseball insider, confirmed the signing. The deal includes a club option for a fourth year, and it’s $ 54 million guaranteed, Notes by Rosenthal.

At $ 18 million a year, Hendriks beats the record average annual value for a backup pitcher, Bowden notes. It surpasses right-hander Wade Davis’s three-year, $ 52 million contract signed in 2018 with the Colorado Rockies.

Hendriks, who turns 32 next month, has spent the past five seasons with the Oakland Athletics, helping the As to win the AL West title last season. In 2020, Hendriks saved 14 games on 15 occasions and recorded a 1.78 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and 37 strikeouts against two unintended marches in 25 1/3 innings. He finished ninth in the AL Cy Young vote and 13th in the AL MVP vote.

CBS Sports ranked Hendriks as the 20th best free agent available this winter. Here’s what our RJ Anderson had to say about the right-hander:

The beauty of quick zipper relievers is that you never know which one is going to pop or when. Hendriks is a good example. Over the past two seasons, he pitched 110 innings of the 1.79 ERA, and did so by taking out 161 and walking 24. Was there any real indication that this was going to happen? Not really. In the previous three years (all spent with track and field, mind you) he had an ERA of 4.01 and a pull-to-walk ratio of 3.64. Either way, I hope Hendriks gets the pay he deserves, especially after following in Nathan Eovaldi and Brandon Morrow’s footsteps in the playoffs, going above and beyond and risking injury despite his impending date with a free agency. Selflessness must be rewarded, after all.

It was another busy winter for the White Sox. Along with Hendriks signing, the club also acquired right-hander Lance Lynn in a trade with the Texas Rangers and signed free agent outfielder Adam Eaton. In 2020, the White Sox made the Extended Playoffs, ending a 12-year playoff drought, before losing 2-1 to the Oakland Athletics in the American League Wild Card Series.

This offseason, they shot Finaliste AL Manager of the Year Rick Renteria before announcing the confusing hiring of Tony La Russa as new skipper.



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