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Rival Roundup, Vol. 13: Gimme Hendriks

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News and notes from a ramping-up divisional market.

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

The year - 2021. The date - January 17th. The article - Rival Roundup, Vol. 13 on Twinkie Town. This has been an up-to-the-minute recap of your life! Spooky, no?

Chicago White Sox

  • This week, the South Siders stoked the flames of our rivalry by announcing a major free agent signing one day after the release of a Rival Roundup issue. There’s no other reason they would have waited until a Monday to do this, and I will hear no arguments that contradict this opinion.
  • With one of the more unique buyouts in recent memory, the Sox have put together the kind of deal that tends to be indicative of the win-now mentality: putting aside a lot of funds towards 60-70 solid innings. Where some teams are comfortable banking on a young, cost-controlled arm to put up a league-average ERA+, the White Sox are spending to acquire Hendriks, who has a 237 ERA+ over the last ~110 innings.
  • A Hendriks deal doesn’t entirely rule out an Alex Colome reunion, but it does look like the key players in Chicago’s 2021 bullpen will be Hendriks, Aaron Bummer, Evan Marshall, Garret Crochet, Jace Fry, and Codi Heuer, along with various arms stashed away throughout the season. In an abbreviated campaign, many of those names contributed to the Sox’s relief corps ranking top-10 in most categories. Hendriks stands to improve those numbers even further.
  • Do with this what you will: Chicago general manager Rick Hahn insinuated that Hendriks may be it for major offseason moves.
  • Honest assessment or psychological warfare? Time will tell.

Clevebois

  • Former Cleveboi Corey Kluber staged a throwing session in front of representatives from most major-league teams; he was scooped up immediately by the New York Yankees and projects to knock us out of the ALDS later this year.
  • The club settled with their remaining arb-eligible talent, forgoing the need for any official arbitration this year.

Detroit Tigers

  • The Tigers settled with all nine of their arbitration-eligible players, with their highest arb expense topping out at $6.5MM for Matthew Boyd, who comes off of one of the worst fall-from-grace seasons in recent Tiger history.
  • Additionally, the Motor City Kitties scooped up seven international free agents on the first day of the signing period - Bless You Boys highlights two of the frontrunners of the class, shortstop Cristian Santana and shortstop-for-now Abel Bastidas.

Kansas City Royals

  • No arbitration hearings for the Royals this year, either — the team came to agreements with their last two remaining players, Adalberto Mondesi and Brad Keller. David Lesky from Royals Review has a payroll projection —
  • With the Royals having been surprisingly active in free agency this winter, it’s not a stretch to imagine them using some of this financial leeway to lock down another contract or two.

See you next time, if by “see you” you mean “you’ll click on this article and I’ll have no idea at exactly what time you’ll be reading it.”