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Dodgers Still In On Liam Hendriks While He Searches for a 4-Year Deal

Hendriks is looking for a 4-year deal with interest from several teams.



The Dodgers are still looking for arms to add to their bullpen mix, and they might be after the biggest arm on the market. Since the season ended, Los Angeles has been loosely linked to Liam Hendriks among literally every other arm out there. 

ESPN’s Jeff Passan further solidified that link this week when he reported that the Dodgers are still in on Hendriks. More interestingly, they’re still in on him even after signing some free-agent arms. Los Angeles signed Brandon Morrow, Brock Stewart, Jimmy Nelson, and James Pazos to minor league deals this week.

As the top of the market takes its sweet time developing, the interest in closer Liam Hendriks, far and away the best reliever available, is leading to an interesting array of teams ready to bid on his services, according to sources. … Among the teams that have pursued the 32-year-old: the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays. … The Dodgers would give Hendriks the best shot at a title.

Hendriks has been one of the most dominant relievers in baseball over the last two years. He owns a 1.79 ERA across 110 innings of relief to go along with a 0.897 WHIP and a pristine 1.70 FIP. Hendriks strikes out batters at a high clip while also keeping his free passes relatively down, though there is room for improvement. Having him come out of the Dodgers bullpen with the arm mix that they have could be lethal for the opposition. 

Over the last 2 seasons, Hendriks has put together the highest fWAR among all relievers at a 5.2 clip. He also owns the best FIP, as well as the best park-adjusted ERA among any reliever. If the Dodgers can fin a way to offer Hendriks a 4-year deal that he reportedly is in search of, it could be a perfect match. With Joe Kelly and Kenley Jansen both potentially coming off of the books after 2021, there could be money for Hendriks long-term. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Dodgers have some great young pitchers that will contribute from the bullpen. Do they re-sign Treinen? Go after Hendricks, Hand, Rosenthal or a another reliever?
    Friedman & his management team has proven to be very capable at finding talent.
    I believe the Dodgers will stock enough talent to win another ring.

  2. Sign strong relievers to 1-2 year deals and then sign free agent relievers to keep the bullpen pool fluid so there are always pitchers/players looking for that World Series ring

  3. The Dodgers need to keep pursuing a shutdown closer. Jansen is done. Hendriks and Hand are the leading FA candidates. A trade for Hader is also possible, although he declined a bit last year and seemed to lose 1 or 2 mph on his fastball. He still has a very deceptive arm angle delivery. Treinen could do it if he stays, but is probably better suited as a set up guy. Graterol could be there by midseason to postseason, but he still needs a deceptive secondary offspeed pitch. When he gets it, he could be almost unhittable. Most contenders have a reliable, proven shutdown closer. Right now the Dodgers don’t have that. They have enough SPs. They have enough offense. They need a dominant closer.

      • Completely. Except for when they’re not: 2014,2017,2019 and … 2020 when starters and starters coming out of the pen were the determining factor.

        • Regular season starters low in the rotation always go to the bullpen in the postseason, but not as closers. Even the great performances by Urias in the postseason where he closed out big games were not as a true closer. He was just pitching very well as a long releiver, and allowed to go into the ninth because we had no reliable closer to seal the deal.

    • I would like to see the Dodgers add Lindor, Hendricks and Bauer , in my mind this would set them up for now and the future!

  4. The way I look at this Liam Hendriks demand for a 4 year contract is that anytime a reliever wants a long term deal, he just gave away his medical. I bet Hendriks knows full well he’s only few more pitches away from Tommy John surgery, so he’s looking to cash in before his elbow falls apart.

  5. I don’t believe the Dodgers will offer Liam a 4 yr deal, but they might offer him a 2yr Deal with the Highest AAV for a Closer. For example 2yr $44 Mil.

    • Agreed. 4 yrs is too much for a releiver, even a top notch closer. But we threw away 3 years on Joe Kelley and got nothing in return. I think we could go 3 yrs for proven value. 4 yrs is bargaining chip by Hendriks and Hand that comes off the table fast for a 2 or 3 yr deal.

  6. Friedman doesn’t usually sign FAs except for glaring holes. Closer seems one – the only one assuming a Turner deal gets done – but I’m not sure he couldn’t fill it at the trade deadline so I’d be surprised if he spent big money on one now.
    However, he does make opportunity trades and it seems to me Blake Snell is just sitting there.Tampa – who is a good trading partner – really needs a catcher which just happens to be a position of depth and strength of the Dodgers. I could see Friedman packaging Ruiz with a couple of high promise starters like Gray and Miller – or even V. Gonzalez – in return for a proven starter on a good contract. It’s good financially for Tampa and a good hedge for the Dodgers against the loss of Kershaw after 2021. It also relieves a bit of a logjam – Gray and Ruiz – who are both now 22.

  7. Friedman signing a 32 yr old reliever to a 4 yr deal?! There’s a better chance he’ll lure Hershiser out of retirement and move Joe Kelly to 1b!
    Come on! We’re talking Friedman here not just some random off season rumor!

  8. We do have an advantage with Kenley and Kelly off the books next fall. But can’t see a 4 year deal. Kelly has been spotty at best; and fortunately; we can let him go next fall. That should be a solid “4 year deal” reminder for a 30+ yr old reliever. 2 yrs of good money with an option should be tops. Good call, Shawn.

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