Andrew Friedman has talked all offseason long about adding an impact arm to the Dodgers bullpen. While he’s been able to add plenty of depth on minor league deals, there have only been rumors on real MLB talent. One of those rumors that continues to float around involves A’s closer Liam Hendriks.
Hendriks was linked to the Dodgers from the moment that MLB free agency kicked off after the World Series. Today, that interest appears to have grown even stronger, per reports from Robert Murray.
Dodgers have strong interest in free-agent reliever Liam Hendriks, according to league sources. Hendriks is visiting the Blue Jays complex in Dunedin today and is drawing interest from the White Sox, among others.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) January 4, 2021
Adding a reliever of Hendriks’ caliber would greatly increase the quality of the Dodgers bullpen heading into 2021. They’re already going to be missing free agents Alex Wood, Pedro Baez, and Blake Treinen from the 2020 team. Of those 3, Alex Wood seems like the only one that they would be interested in bringing back.
The only real question with Hendriks would be cost, as the Dodgers don’t often give the big bucks to relievers. The only recent exception to that would be the contracts given to Kenley Jansen and Joe Kelly, both of which were sort of deserving at the time given where their careers were at. Hendriks is reportedly looking for a 4-year deal, with experts predicting his contract could top the $50 million range.
Hendriks has been phenomenal for the Athletics over the last 2 years. In a combined 110 innings, he has pitched to a 1.79 ERA and a pristine 1.70 FIP. He ranks first among all qualified relievers over that time span in both of those categories (min 75 innings). Hendriks also ranks first in fWAR in that same time span among relievers with a 5.2 mark in 97 relief appearances. To say that he would be a difference-maker for the Dodgers would be an understatement.
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