Seasons Greetings

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MLB: Chicago White Sox Agree to Terms on Four-Year Contract With All-Star Closer Liam Hendriks

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MLB: Chicago White Sox Agree to Terms on Four-Year Contract With All-Star Closer Liam Hendriks

2021-01-15 14:21:09


-Posted by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: All-Star closer Liam Hendriks. (Image Source: Darren Yamashita / USA Today

CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a four-year, $54-million contract with free agent All-Star closer Liam Hendriks, which includes a $1-million signing bonus.

Under terms of the agreement, Hendriks, 31, will receive $11 million in 2021, $13 million in 2022 and $14 million in 2023, with the White Sox holding a $15-million option or $15-million buyout for 2024. If the club option is declined, the buyout will be paid in 10 equal installments between 2024-33.

Hendriks, 6-foot and 230 pounds, was named to the All-MLB First Team in 2020 and tied for ninth in the AL Cy Young Award voting after going 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA (5 ER/25.1 IP), 14 saves, 37 strikeouts, a 0.67 WHIP and just three walks and one home run allowed over 24 appearances with Oakland. The A’s went 23-1 in games when he pitched.

Hendriks ranked among the AL relief leaders in saves (2nd), WHIP (2nd), walks per 9.0 IP (2nd, 1.07), opponents on-base percentage (2nd, .187), strikeout-to-walk ratio (2nd, 12.33), opponents OPS (3rd, .405), save percentage (4th, 93.3), strikeouts per 9.0 IP (7th, 13.14) and ERA (11th).

“With the acquisition of Liam, we are adding another premium talent to our core group of players,” said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. “Liam is someone of outstanding character and makeup who will be an asset both on the field and in the clubhouse. He gives Tony and Ethan another weapon to make our bullpen even deeper and more versatile.”

Hendriks owns the lowest ERA in the major leagues since 2019 (minimum 100.0 IP) at 1.79, and his 0.90 WHIP ranks third. His 5.2 fWAR during that span also is the best among MLB relievers.

Since taking over as the A’s closer on June 21, 2019, Hendriks has recorded a 1.99 ERA (15 ER/68.0 IP) with 39 saves, 111 strikeouts and a 0.79 WHIP in 65 appearances. His 39 saves during that span are six more than any other pitcher in baseball (Josh Hader is next with 33), and he has averaged 14.69 strikeouts and 0.93 walks (seven walks) per 9.0 IP with a 15.86 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

With the addition of Hendriks, four current White Sox pitchers finished in the Top 10 of the AL Cy Young Award voting in 2020. Teammates Dallas Keuchel, Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito were fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, last season.

Hendriks, a native of Perth, Australia, originally was signed by Minnesota as a non-drafted free agent on February 25, 2007. He has gone 19-27 with a 4.10 ERA (235 ER/516.1 IP), 40 saves and 526 strikeouts in 344 appearances (44 starts) over 10 seasons in the major leagues with the Twins (2011-13), Toronto (2014, ‘15), Kansas City (2014) and Oakland (2016-20).

Hendriks has appeared in eight postseason games, including three with the A’s in 2020, and he was an AL All-Star in 2019.

Hendriks will wear uniform No. 31. He will become the second Australian-born pitcher to play for the White Sox, joining right-handed pitcher Shane Lindsay (Melbourne), who made four appearances in 2011.



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