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Should I Stay or Should I Go: Liam Hendriks

A luxury we can’t afford?

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox
There’s no doubt that Liam Hendriks has fulfilled his promise with the White Sox. But he may be an unnecessary extravagance on a .500 team.
Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

fWAR: 1.6
bWAR: 1.7
WARP: 1.7

He should stay Hendriks is still among the most dominant closers in the game and one of the better human beings in the league. He generates tons of strikeouts, issues few walks, and generally finishes what he starts. Despite being a high-priced reliever, he has been more than worth the money.

He should go Entering his age-34 season, Hendriks has shown some signs of slowing down. His strikeout rates, while still elite, fell slightly from his absurd 2020-21 peak, and his K/BB ratio has gone from otherworldly to a more mortal level of excellence. Made his reputation in 2019 as a multi-inning reliever but has mostly been relegated to an inning or less in most of his appearances on the White Sox. In only three of his 58 appearances in 2022 did he complete more than an inning of work, never reaching two full innings. If he’s becoming increasingly fragile, the team needs to reallocate resources elsewhere.

The verdict The White Sox are short on assets and long on big contracts that need to be moved. Hendriks is an expensive redundancy on a team that invested WAY too heavily in relief arms and not enough on everyday players. The bright side is that Hendriks is not an underwater asset and should bring back something of value on the trade market. The down side is that his 2024 option (for $15 million) automatically vests in the event of a trade, which might temper some of the interest. Still, if Rick Hahn is going to revamp the roster, Hendriks is, sadly, the logical place to start.