The most obvious statement of the year, the Red Sox need pitching. From top to bottom, we need help in that department. While the whole league is focused on the likes of Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber, the Sox should sign Liam Hendriks.
Who Is He
Hendricks has spent the last 5 seasons with the Oakland A’s both as a starter and reliever, but the last two seasons as their 8th and 9th inning guy. That’s where he has made his money. Over the last two seasons, he has posted an under 2 ERA while pitching 110 innings over the last two seasons. Last year he appeared in 24 games posting a 1.78 ERA over 25.1 innings while closing out 14 games. To put it in simpler terms, the dude can flat out pitch.
What He Would Bring To Boston
Signing Hendriks immediately solidifies the backend of our bullpen. Have him for the ninth inning and Barnes for the 8th, then work from there. I will not even guess who will be in that bullpen outside of these two because, frankly, they all stunk last year. Having a guy that you can fully rely on to close out games is something the Red Sox have not had the last two seasons and is a big reason we have struggled. Hendricks is a guy that will compete night in and night out for his teams, and most importantly, he wants to be on a winning team.
What Will It Take
This is the most difficult part of the equation. The money that will or will not be spent this year is a huge question mark because of the pandemic. Before the pandemic, the game’s best relief pitchers would demand around 18-20 million dollars a year. That market was set by Kenly Jensen, who makes 20 mill a year with the Dodgers and is the highest-paid relief pitcher. Now, I would guess that 15 million a year is the new 20 million, at least for the next 2 seasons. If I’m Bloom, I would give Hendriks a 2 year deal with a club option for a third year around the 10-12 million mark. If he continues to perform well, that’s when I’d have the money jump up closer to that original 20 million mark for that additional year. Again, that’s with the market being so unknown. I’m saying this operating as the 15 million mark being equivalent to the 20 mill mark.
In my last three posts, I’ve talked about throwing some decent money around, and it received some criticism, rightfully so, if you are not the Red Sox. Boston is known as a big market team that spends money and makes trades. We got rid of Betts to get under the cap so it can reset, and we can go back to spending. So, that’s what better happen. We don’t have prospects to trade, so open your wallet and start paying guys to help get this team back into contention. Hendriks is one of the best closers in baseball. You tried your Matt Barnes experiment in that role, and while it wasn’t a complete disaster, it wasn’t a huge success either. Time to solidify that backend of the bullpen and do so quickly while everyone is stuck drooling over the top end starters.
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– Kevin Perdios (@Perdios95)