Closer Liam Hendriks agreed to a three-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, numerous media outlets reported Monday night.
The deal covers three years and totals $54 million US. Chicago gets an option for a fourth season for $15 million, and the team can also buy out Hendriks’ contract for $15 million but space the payout over multiple years, according to the reports.
The 31-year-old right-hander, a 10-year veteran, emerged as the closer for the Oakland Athletics in 2019, when he saved 25 games in 32 opportunities and posted a 1.80 earned-run average. He was a first-time all-star that year.
Hendriks followed with 14 saves in 15 chances in 2020, a season reduced to 60 games because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He dropped his ERA to 1.78, and he tied ninth in American League Cy Young Award voting and tied for 13th in AL most valuable player voting.
Since taking over as closer on June 21, 2019, Liam Hendriks <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/WhiteSox?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#WhiteSox</a> stats through the end of 2020:<br>39 Saves (1st in this sample), 68 IP<br>111 Strikeouts (1st) 43.4 K% (3rd)<br>7 Walks, 2.7 BB% (1st)<br>1.99 ERA (6th)<br>1.87 SIERA (2nd)<br>0.79 WHIP (1st)<br>20.7 SwStr% (2nd)<br>40.6 K-BB% (1st)
The Australian began his career with the Minnesota Twins (2011-13) and played for the Kansas City Royals (2014) and the Toronto Blue Jays (2014-15).
Toronto traded him to Oakland in November 2015 for fellow relief pitcher Jesse Chavez.
Hendriks has a career record of 19-27 with 40 saves and a 4.10 ERA in 344 games (44 starts).
The White Sox have previously added starting pitcher Lance Lynn and outfielder Adam Eaton this off-season. Chicago’s 2020 closer, right-hander Alex Colome, is currently a free agent. Colome logged 12 of the team’s 13 saves last season.
If the Chicago <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Whitesox?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Whitesox</a> didn’t land Liam Hendriks, they would have simply turned back to Alex Colome to be their closer. Yet they believe Hendriks is the difference-maker who will have them playing deep into October.