Liam Hendriks, Red Sox Agree to Deal

Liam Hendriks
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Boston Red Sox have upgraded their bullpen, as they agreed to terms with All-Star closer Liam Hendriks Monday morning. The two sides agreed to a two-year contract worth $10 million, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. Chris Cotillo of MassLive was first to report the Red Sox were closing in on a deal with Hendriks, which is pending a physical. The contract includes performance incentives that can bring the value up to $20 million and includes a mutual option for 2026.

Long Recovery

Liam Hendriks is recovering from Tommy John surgery that he underwent on August 2. He had the procedure done to repair a torn right ulnar collateral ligament. The hope is for Hendriks to return at some point this season. He’s on the early side of the 12-to-14-month recovery timeline, but that wouldn’t put him back in the major leagues until after the All-Star break.

The injury came at an unfortunate time for Hendriks. He returned to the mound May 29 after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma during the offseason. He made five appearances, recording one save and posting a 5.40 ERA. Right elbow inflammation sent him to the injured list on June 12.

Movement in the Bullpen

Kenley Jansen, who has the subject of recent trade rumors, is currently the Red Sox’ closer. He is a free agent at the end of the 2024 season. Hendriks is one year removed from back-to-back All-Star seasons with the Chicago White Sox in 2021 and ’22, where he posted a combined 2.66 ERA with 75 saves over the two-year span.

Staying in the American League

The right-hander has spent every one of his first 13 seasons in the American League. He made his major league debut with the Minnesota Twins in 2011. Hendriks pitched for the Royals, Twins, and Athletics before joining the White Sox in free agency in January 2021. Hendriks ranked toward the top of many Statcast pitching metrics in 2022. He was in the 99th percentile in whiff rate (41.3 percent) and the 96th percentile in expected batting average (.182). Hendriks peaked at an elite 42.3% strikeout rate in 2022, fanning 38.8% of hitters from 2019-22.

 

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