When the White Sox playoff run came to an abrupt end in the Oakland Coliseum in early October, it was A’s closer Liam Hendriks on the bump, sealing the Sox fate and sending Oakland on to the next round.
Now, Hendriks will suit up in Silver and Black for the White Sox, joining an already formidable bullpen, as the Sox added one of the very best closers on the free agent market to their bullpen, where he’ll take over for Alex Colome, who did a very good job closing games for the Sox the last two years.
Hendriks comes to the Sox on a three-year deal with an option for a fourth year, so he’ll be in the ‘pen for the Sox right as their contention window swings wide open. He’ll turn 32 between now and the season starting, so there’s still plenty of gas left in the tank.
This addition also allows all the other bullpen arms to stay in the roles they excelled in last season, which is a good move, assuming all the other bullpen arms are healthy and effective. It keeps Aaron Bummer in his role as the setup man, a role he was excellent in. He could have filled the closer role, and probably done well in that spot, but that’s not necessary now with Hendriks taking the 9th inning.
This move comes on the heels of the Sox adding Lance Lynn to the starting rotation and Adam Eaton to fill the crater in right field. All that’s left to do for a White Sox front office that has been busier than almost every other in baseball, is to find a designated hitter.
There’s aspirations to not just win the division in 2021, but go far in the playoffs. An elite closer like Hendriks gets you one step closer.