The Toronto Blue Jays were smart to remove themselves from the Liam Hendriks negotiations once the price tag reached an ungodly number.
The Toronto Blue Jays failed to come to an agreement with free agent reliever Liam Hendriks, however, that may not entirely be a bad thing. The 31-year old inked a massive multi-year $54 million dollar deal to close out games on the south-side for the Chicago White Sox.
It was speculated that the Blue Jays may be close to landing Hendriks after he was observed at the Jays spring training facility in Dunedin earlier last week. Nobody envisioned the free agent reliever would sign such a robust contract, we all knew he was going to get paid but $54 million. Wow.
MLB Trade Rumors had Hendriks pegged at signing a three-year/ $30 million dollar contract with the Philadelphia Phillies in their annual Top 50 Free Agent Predictions for 2021. They also ranked the reliever as the 12th best available free agent of the offseason.
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The current brain trust has been quite successful rounding out the bullpen with reclamation projects who have paid dividends and rebuilt their stock. With the loss of closer Ken Giles, it made sense to explore the Hendriks market as a possible ninth inning option.
The Blue Jays are currently poised to have either Rafael Dolis or Jordan Romano close out games if the the season were to begin tomorrow. They did reup with A.J. Cole on the a minor league pact last week but Cole is not viewed as a closer.
With the uncertainty and volatility surrounding relievers from year to year, the Hendriks deal is astronomical and will surely pace the free agent market for the remaining unsigned relievers. I am fairly confident Brad Hand is grinning from ear to ear somewhere.
I have been fairly critical of Ross Atkins and his inability to finish the deal this offseason but he was definitely correct in walking away from this one. The $54 million could be better served spent elsewhere with centerfield and pitching still in desperate need of an upgrade.
Not a bad deal for a guy who has been selected off waivers three times in his career, well done Liam.