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#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

Elite AL closer could be traded this offseason?

Liam Hendriks in his All-Star uniform

Jul 13, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Liam Hendriks during the 2021 MLB All Star Game between the American League and the National League at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One top American League closer might not be the made man that we all thought he was.

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com is reporting this week that Chicago White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks has had his name come up in trade talks with other clubs. The 33-year-old Hendriks does have a no-trade clause but only a limited one that allows him to veto trades to five teams, Feinsand adds.

A three-time All-Star and two-time AL Reliever of the Year, Hendriks is one of the very best bullpen arms in all of baseball. The righty owns a 2.26 ERA over the last four seasons combined and punches out batters at an absurd rate (13.5 strikeouts per nine innings over that span as well).

But the White Sox were just a middling 81-81 team in 2022 and might have gotten notably worse this offseason with the departure of former MVP Jose Abreu (who led them in many offensive categories last year). If Chicago wants to avoid getting stuck in baseball purgatory, trading Hendriks to restock their farm system could be a good move.

Hendriks will make $14 million in 2023 with a $15 million club option for 2024 (which would convert into a guaranteed year if Hendriks got traded, Feinsand adds). A reliever of Hendriks’ caliber becoming truly available could really spice up the offseason market as there are some needy top teams out there.

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