While we are waiting for the Blue Jays to announce some roster moves, let’s do one of these.
I borrowed this idea from Lone Star Ball. It isn’t the first time I’ve stolen from them. The idea is to go through some of the top free agents, use the contract FanGraphs suggests they will get, and have a poll asking if we would like to sign him for that amount.
I almost typed Liam Neeson in the title. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Liam.
Anyway, Hendriks is #15 on FanGraph’s list and #21 on Keith Law’s top free agent list.
Craig Edwards figures Liam to get a 3-year, $30 contract, making it $10 a year (aren’t you glad I did the math for you). Digressing....when I was in junior high, we weren’t allowed to use calculators. We complained, and the math teacher said you could do math quicker without a calculator than with one. He said he would show us by racing someone through a test. He handed the calculator to the dumbest kid in the class (who I’m sure is a Senator or MP now) and yes, beat him through the test. After class, I talked to him, saying that it wasn’t fair, race me. He just laughed and said that wouldn’t have helped his point.
Anyway, Liam pitched for the Jays in 2014 and 2015. We traded him away twice in February of 2014 to the Royals with Erik Kratz for Danny Valencia. Then, in July of that year, we traded to get him back, sending one-time catcher of the future Santiago Ness to KC for him. Then, five years ago today, we traded him to the A’s for Jesse Chavez.
It was hard to understand the trade. Liam had a 2.92 ERA in 58 games for us in 2015.
It was a trade that, at the time, we didn’t like, and it looked worse as time when on. I’m not sure what Anthopoulos was thinking. Chavez was a Blue Jay for 2 years, putting up a 5.89 ERA in 48 games, 2 starts, before sending him off to the Dodgers for Mike Bolsinger.
And Hendriks became one of the best relievers in baseball. In 5 seasons with the A’s he has a 3.08 ERA with 40 saves in 247 games. 2019 is when Liam became a star. He had a 1.80 ERA in 75 games, 85 innings with 25 saves. This year he had a 1.78 ERA in 24 games with 14 saves.
The story is he became a better pitcher after being DFA and sent to the minors in June of 2018. He found a little more velocity on his fastball in the minors and improved his curve and slider. He said:
I’ve just been throwing a lot more breaking balls for strikes. The fastball looks a little more explosive, but when I throw my slider and curveball for strikes ... I’m also using my curveball a lot more this year than I have in the past.
Anyway, Liam is 31 now. He hasn’t pitched so many innings that his arm should be worn out. I think a 3-year deal would be safe. He can throw more than an inning at a time (he pitched 2 innings or more in 6 games in 2019 and 1.2 in 9 more games). I like guys like that.
Should the Blue Jays sign Liam Hendriks if the price is $10 million a year for 3 years?
This poll is closed
Probably, but I’m not enthusiastic about it
Probably not, but I wouldn’t hate it
No, absolutely not