The Chicago White Sox have signed free-agent reliever Liam Hendriks to a three-year, $54 million deal, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. CBS Sports HQ Baseball Insider Jim Bowden confirmed the signing. The deal includes a club option for a fourth year, and it's $54 million guaranteed, Rosenthal notes.
At $18 million per year, Hendriks breaks the record average annual value for a relief pitcher, Bowden notes. He surpasses right-hander Wade Davis' three-year, $52 million contract he signed in 2018 with the Colorado Rockies.
Hendriks, who turns 32 next month, has spent the past five seasons with the Oakland Athletics, helping the A's to an AL West title last season. In 2020, Hendriks saved 14 games in 15 chances and recorded a 1.78 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and 37 strikeouts against two unintentional walks in 25 1/3 innings. He finished ninth in the AL Cy Young voting and 13th in the AL MVP voting.
It's been another busy winter for the White Sox. Along with the Hendriks signing, the club also acquired right-handed starter Lance Lynn in a trade with the Texas Rangers and signed free-agent outfielder Adam Eaton. In 2020, the White Sox made the expanded playoffs, snapping a 12-year postseason drought, before falling 2-1 to the Oakland Athletics in the American League Wild Card Series.