Blue Jays: Players the club missed out on this past off-season
Acquired off the waiver wire from the Baltimore Orioles back in 2014, Liam Hendriks is no stranger to the Toronto Blue Jays and their fanbase.
Before joining the Jays, Hendriks had bounced around a few different organizations and was even traded from the club to the Kansas City Royals before being re-acquired roughly six months later. As a member of the Blue Jays, the Australian-born right-hander sported a 3.46 ERA through 61 appearances (three starts) and 78.0 innings with 79 strikeouts compared to 15 walks.
Hendriks would be traded in the 2015/2016 off-season to the Oakland Athletics where he really blossomed at the back end of the rotation, throwing to a 3.08 ERA through 247 appearances (10 starts earlier in his tenure) with 40 saves, 332 strikeouts, and 71 walks through 263.0 innings. He would also earn an all-star appearance in 2019 where he posted an absurd 1.80 ERA through 75 appearances.
Hendriks was a free agent this past off-season and was one of the top bullpen arms on the market. The Blue Jays were interested in a reunion, with the right-hander being spotted at the club’s Spring Training facility in Dunedin but he would eventually go on to sign a 3-year, $54 million dollar contract with a $15 million dollar club option for a fourth year.
With the Blue Jays facing some struggles with various bullpen arms this season, having a solid arm like Hendriks in the back end would have been a definite improvement over some of the other options the club filtered through. With 60 outings this campaign, Hendriks is sporting a 2.90 ERA with 40 saves through 62.0 innings, striking out 96 batters while holding opponents to a .181 batting average.
While the dollar figure is most likely the reason the club did not sign the closing pitcher, it is not known whether the club offered him an official contract before he joined the White Sox.