Liam Hendriks had his press conference on Friday to introduce himself to the Chicago White Sox media, formally solidifying the fact that the 2020 AL Reliever of the Year would not be a member of the A’s anymore.
When asked if the A’s had had any communication on bringing him back, Hendriks said he wished that were the case, but that didn’t happen.
“I was hoping that they would have reached out, but unfortunately they never reached out beyond saying congratulations on Reliever of the Year and stuff like that,” Hendriks said. (h/t The Athletic’s Alex Coffey).
Multiple teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, reportedly were interested in acquiring Hendriks in free agency, but it’s possible the A’s simply weren't going to be able to afford him. The White Sox deal ended up being for three years at $54 million, with a team option that could result in deferred payments spread over the years.
It’s a good contract and well deserved for Hendriks. Over the last two seasons, the closer averaged a 1.79 ERA with 161 strikeouts in 110 ⅓ innings pitched with the A’s. He also earned an All-Star selection in 2019.
Hendriks said it was unfortunate not being in contact with Oakland because he loves the A’s organization and the players he spent time with over the last four seasons.
“That clubhouse is one of the best clubhouses I’ve ever been in. Everyone rags on each other all the time. Everyone makes fun of each other and it’s just a family there.”
This week, former A’s outfielder Robbie Grossman, now with the Detroit Tigers, went on MLB Network to talk about a text thread the guys all had together. Grossman specifically mentioned the group chat wished Hendriks congratulations.
“I’m still part of the group text that’s been there,” Hendriks said. “That’s still been healthy the last couple of days no matter what’s going on.”
Nonetheless, Hendriks doubled-down that the A’s weren’t one of the teams that made an effort to have him in 2021.
“They were a consideration,” Hendriks said. “But unfortunately, they didn’t really reach out too much.”