Liam Hendriks reportedly agrees to two-year deal with Red Sox, will miss most of 2024

Liam Hendriks could miss the entire 2024 season, but he’s found a new home for whenever he does return to the mound.

The star closer has agreed to a two-year deal with the Red Sox that guarantees him $10 million, according to multiple reports. The deal includes a third-year option that could bring the total value of the deal to $20 million with incentives, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported.

Hendriks, who turned 35 earlier in February, made a return to baseball last season after beating stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma, making his diagnosis public in January 2023. The former White Sox reliever announced he finished chemotherapy on April 5 and just over two weeks later, Hendriks shared that he was cancer-free.

Shortly after Hendriks’ cancer-free diagnosis, he began a rehab stint in the minors and made his season debut with the White Sox on May 29. He only made five appearances, though, as he was sidelined in early June due to elbow inflammation, going 2-0 with a 5.40 ERA. Hendriks eventually underwent Tommy John surgery, the team shared in August. He still earned the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award.

As a result of his Tommy John surgery, Hendriks won’t be making his Red Sox debut for quite some time. There is optimism that he can return late in the 2024 season, but the year-plus recovery time frame could keep Hendriks out until the 2025 season.

With Hendriks unlikely to make much of an impact in 2024, the signing appears to be a move by the Red Sox to help strengthen their roster for the 2025 season. All-Star closer Kenley Jansen is set to become a free agent at season’s end, but he’s already been involved in trade rumors as a possible means for the Red Sox to shed some payroll. 

Hendriks would likely slot in as the Red Sox’s closer in the 2025 season. The three-time All-Star has been one of the game’s top closers in recent years, recording 114 saves and a 2.26 ERA between 2019-22. 

Hendriks is just the third player the Red Sox have signed this offseason after their second straight last-place finish in 2023. They added pitchers Lucas Giolito and Cooper Criswell in free agency earlier in the offseason. 

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