After three seasons on the South Side that included a playoff appearance and two All-Star games, it appears that the Chicago White Sox are moving on from closer Liam Hendriks.
According to a report from Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the White Sox are declining Hendriks' $15 million option for 2024 as the reliever is expected to miss the upcoming season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August.
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The option for 2024 is part of the three-year, $54 million deal Hendriks signed with the Sox ahead of the 2021 season.
The White Sox will still owe Hendriks $15 million, though the payments will now be deferred over time.
Hendriks' tenure on the White Sox saw him quickly grow into a fan favorite, emerging as a pivotal piece to the 2021 team that would go on to win the American League Central.
Hendriks finished 8-3 with an AL-best 38 saves in 2021, being named to the All-Star team while finishing eighth in Cy Young Award voting as well. During his incredible campaign, Hendriks walked just seven batters while striking out 113, good for a video game-like 16.14 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
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The Aussie right-hander was excellent again in 2022, saving 37 games with a 2.81 ERA, once again being named to the All-Star team for the third time in his career.
During the offseason following the 2022 season, the baseball world rallied around Hendriks after he publicly revealed that he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in January 2023.
Hendriks briefly returned to action in 2023, playing in five games and recording two wins and a save across five innings of work before being affected by an elbow injury that would go on to end his season.
The league honored Hendriks with the AL Comeback Player of the Year award for his return to action this season following his cancer diagnosis
Following the declining of Hendriks' option, he will become a free agent ahead of his age-35 season that he is expected to miss all of.
With the levels of adversity that Hendriks has faced during a career in which he has long been one of the sport's premier relievers, it's hard to bet against a return to form down the road for the three-time All-Star.