How was your week

Posted: January 16, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Baseball fans have been patiently waiting for the free agent market to heat up and this week there where two signings that might get the market started as it’s just a little over a month before pitcher and catchers report to spring training.

Earlier this week the Chicago White Sox signed the top closer on the free agent market Liam Hendricks to a three year $54 million dollar deal with an option for a fourth year. Alex Colome had been handling the closing duties for the White Sox the last two seasons, but Chicago allowed him to go into free agency this off season; so they needed someone to fill that role and they signed the best available player on the free agent market to do that.

Hendricks will turn 32 years old next month and is new to the closing role, but seems to have taken to it well. After eight seasons as a starter/long reliever Hendricks stepped into the closers role for the Oakland A’s in 2019 and posted 25 saves. Last season Hendricks appeared in 24 games with an ERA of 1.78 and 14 saves. Since Hendricks is a former starter he can also give a team saves of multiple innings which isn’t always the case in bullpens today. It will be interesting to see if new White Sox manager Tony LaRussa will utilize Hendricks for more than one inning at a time this coming season.

While Hendricks found himself a new team on the free agent market the other free agent signing went back to the team he spent the last couple of seasons with.

There appeared to be a lot of interest in D.J. LeMahieu this off season, but in the end he decided to return to the New York Yankees. Yesterday LeMahieu and the Yankees agreed on a six year $90 million dollar deal that should keep LeMahieu in Yankee pinstripes for the remainder of his playing career.

LeMahieu joined the Yankees as a free agent before the 2019 season and has posted two quality seasons for them. LeMahieu finished 4th in the MVP voting in 2019 and last season he moved up to 3rd in the MVP voting. LeMahieu won the American League batting title last season and while analytics have de-emphasize batting average LeMahieu is still the first player to win a batting title in each league during the modern era of baseball.

The modern era of baseball begins in 1900 and Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty won the batting title in each league at that time. In 1899 Delahanty won the NL batting title with the Philadelphia Phillies and then in 1902 Delahanty won the AL batting title with the Washington Senators, but there are some questions about the 1899 batting title; so it’s unclear if Delahanty actually accomplished this feat.

Now according to research Pete Browning won the 1882 and 1885 batting titles with the Louisville Eclipse of the American Association. Then Browning went on to win the batting title in 1890 with the Cleveland Infants who where part of the Players’ League.

It’s also being reported that the Yankees have agreed to a one year $11 million dollar deal with free agent pitcher Cory Kluber.

Kluber had a showcase to show that he was healthy and about 25 MLB teams showed up to watch him and be all reports he was impressive.

The Yankees where in need of some starting pitching; so Kluber will help them with that as long as he’s healthy. Kluber made one start last season for the Texas Rangers and lasted just one innings before and arm injury ended his 2020 season. in 2019 Kluber made just seven starts for the Cleveland Indians before his first arm injury shut him down. If Kluber can return to the form that won him two Cy Young awards the Yankees might have gotten a steal with this signing.

There was another what you’d call under the radar signing this week as the Phillies added another piece to their bullpen that gave them so much trouble last season. Philadelphia added Archie Bradley to their bullpen on a one year $6 million dollar deal.

Bradley becomes the third reliever the Phillies have added to their bullpen this season either by trade or by free agent signing. Bradley joins the other new acquisitions Jose Alvarado and Sam Coonrod. It’s unclear if Bradley will sub plant Hector Neris as Philadelphia’s closer or if he’ll become the main set up main out of their bullpen. Bradley has done both roles in his pitching career; so will have to see how Philadelphia’s new manager Joe Girardi will handle him.

What do you think of these free agent signings?

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  1. It was a terrific signing for the White Sox who will probably go into the season as the favorites in the AL Central.
    The Yankees, as we all know, aren’t afraid to spend money and resigned LaMahieu to a one year deal.
    Closer to home, its hard to believe that the Bulls had a 16! point lead with less than 5 minutes remaining in regulation and still wound up losing in O.T.
    In fact, the Bulls were lucky to get to OT when Lavine hit a desperation 3 with one second left in regulation to tie the game!
    The mind reels.


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