Former Athletics' All-Star closer signs with the Red Sox

Former Oakland Athletics closer Liam Hendriks has inked a two-year deal with the Red Sox

Jul 31, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Liam Hendriks (31) reacts
Jul 31, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Liam Hendriks (31) reacts / Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Former A's fan favorite Liam Hendriks has officially signed a two-year deal with the Red Sox. The contract includes a mutual option for 2026. The deal could be worth up to $30 million over the next three years depending on if he hits his incentives, and if the option is picked up.

It's a great outcome for the former Athletics righty, who has had a brutal stretch of bad luck over the last two years. Hendriks was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma back at the end of the 2022 season.

Hendriks battled his way through cancer, eventually winning his fight and earning the 2023 Jimmy V award for perseverance at the ESPY's. He returned to MLB in 2023, only to suffer a UCL injury that required Tommy John surgery.

He threw just 5 innings for the White Sox in 2023 and underwent surgery in August of this past year. He's not expected to be ready until later in the 2024 season, though the official stance is that they're targeting a post All-Star break return.

That's a fairly aggressive timeline for a return from Tommy John but if there's anyone out there who can come back quickly and effectively, Hendriks would be a good bet to be that guy.

Hendriks wasn't always a closer for the Athletics. He worked his way into the job during the 2019 season. He saved 25 games in 85 innings that year, helping the A's win 97 games for the second consecutive season.

He was exceptional for the A's in 2019 and 2020, helping lead the team to back-to-back playoff appearances. He left Oakland and signed a 3-year, $54 million deal with the White Sox prior to the 2021 season.

Between 2019-2022, Hendriks posted a 2.26 ERA in 239 innings with a strikeout rate just shy of 39%. He made three All-Star game appearances in that four year stretch and received Cy Young votes in both 2020 and 2021.

The Red Sox will hope Hendriks can pick up where he left off. He's still just 35 years old and assuming his elbow heals properly, he should have plenty of gas left in the tank.