This is the week where all of the chaos gets started. The 2022 MLB Winter Meetings are in full effect, and there is plenty of news to discuss in the Windy City. For the Chicago White Sox, some of the recent news includes a big name currently on the roster.
Over the past two seasons, Liam Hendriks has been one of the best closers in all of baseball. The 33-year-old pitcher has been named an American League All Star two years running, and three out of the last four years.
Now, it appears as though the White Sox could end up parting with their star arm.
During the Winter Meetings this week, MLB insider Mark Feinsand has learned that Hendriks’ name has come up in trade discussions, which would be somewhat of a surprise considering the veteran has a specific no-trade clause in his contract.
A trade involving closer Liam Hendriks would be a surprising move for the Chicago White Sox.
Regarding his no-trade clause, Hendriks would be able to veto a potential deal to up to five teams. But, why would the White Sox make such a move? This is a team that’s been to the postseason in two of the last three seasons, after all.
Going into this last season, the White Sox had high hopes and were a World Series favorite to some, before disaster ensued. Still, the roster is chock full of talent at certain positions and, if healthy, the team could absolutely make some noise in 2023.
As has been rumored in past weeks, the Sox will likely prioritize trades over free agent signings this offseason. So, a Hendriks trade wouldn’t be off the table entirely.
If the Sox did indeed trade Hendriks, though, they could get quite the haul for him. As one of the league’s best closers, Hendriks is also under team control through 2024. So, he would be far from just a short-term type of acquisition. Many times, especially during the season and right before the trade deadline, there are deals made for players who end up being a half-season rental for World Series hopefuls.
But, that’s not the case here with Hendriks. Any team that trades for him will have his services for a minimum two years.
That fact, in and of itself, would mean the White Sox could get a huge return for him. If Chicago were to have a backup plan in the wake of a Hendriks trade, their roster and future could look far different after landing a haul like they’d receive in that deal.