How Cubs might leverage White Sox signing of Liam Hendriks in rebuild

How Cubs may utilize White Sox finalizing of Hendriks initially appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Now they’re simply rubbing it in.

As the Cubs continue efforts to slash payroll and move crucial gamers from the protecting National League Central champ, the the people on the other side of town simply keep improving and bolder — today including the leading closer on the totally free representative market to their World Series competitor.

The White Sox’ $54 million finalizing of Liam Hendriks today was the crosstown competitors’ most current sneer at the nickel-clanking cup the Cubs have actually encompassed other groups this winter season in their trade talks looking for payroll relief.

However as much as the Hendriks move highlighted the Trading Places plot playing out in Chicago baseball nowadays, can the Cubs get something on their own out of it?

Some baseball experts stated Tuesday they were shocked by the size of the four-year offer for Hendriks, consisting of one American League group authorities who was “shocked” by what up until now is the biggest ensured totally free representative offer of a slow-moving winter season.

The authorities stated he questioned who else was completing versus the Sox, assisting increase the rate.

Another group? 2? 3?

Time for the Cubs to get that cup all set once again.

Due to the fact that if that finalizing signified a more robust need for back-end reducers than numerous approximated when the offseason started, then the Cubs may in fact take a crack at to move the bulk of an agreement that looked difficult to move even a couple of weeks earlier.

Unexpectedly, the $16 million staying on the last year of Craig Kimbrel’s offer may not look as expensive to a competitor in requirement, even throughout a pandemic economy — particularly if the Cubs want to consume at least a couple of million to get the bulk of the agreement off the books in exchange for a small possibility or more.

In the meantime, totally free representative left-hander Brad Hand — whose $10 million alternative for 2021 was decreased by cost-cutting Cleveland — appears on the clock in the instant after-effects of the Hendriks finalizing, with several reports recommending his market is warming up.

However if Hand has the ability to surpass his market forecasts also, then the Cubs may find a narrow opening to thread to attempt to move a 32-year-old closer they don’t require, and who lastly pitched like the seven-time All-Star he is over the last month of 2020 after a rough start — total with 98-mph fastball and situated breaking ball throughout a 28-strikeout September without a walk or run permitted.

Other great closers stay on the totally free representative market, consisting of Alex Colome and Mark Melancon.

And one previous baseball operations manager called the White Sox an “outlier” in their determination to invest huge at all, much less for a more detailed.

So the Hendriks finalizing is anything however a guarantee that a strong market will unexpectedly emerge for Kimbrel.

However if recently promoted Cubs president Jed Hoyer might pull it off, a relocation like that may a minimum of alleviate a few of the seriousness on pressing an uneven dump of previous MVP Kris Bryant — if not put them in position to lastly include a couple of pieces this winter season.

If absolutely nothing else, it beats hearing those exact same nickels clank because cup each time the White Sox claim another Chicago heading this winter season on their method to October.


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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.