Liam Hendriks Rumors

Royals Designate Liam Hendriks For Assignment

The Royals have designated righty Liam Hendriks for assignment, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Presumably, the move creates space for Moises Sierra, who was claimed earlier today.

Hendriks, 25, threw 19 1/3 frames for Kansas City after being acquired from the Blue Jays in a mid-season deal. On the year, Hendriks tossed 32 2/3 innings if 5.23 ERA ball, striking out 6.3 and walking 1.9 batters per nine and posting a more favorable 3.84 FIP.

Over parts of four seasons in the bigs, Hendriks has worked to cumulative 5.92 ERA over 188 2/3 total innings. In nearly 400 Triple-A innings in his career, however, Hendriks has allowed 3.19 earned per nine.


Royals Acquire Hendriks, Kratz For Valencia

6:10pm: The Blue Jays announced that they have acquired Danny Valencia from the Royals in exchange for Hendriks and Kratz.  Valencia, 29, posted a .282/.328/.382 slash line in 119 plate appearances for KC this season.  The veteran split 117 games between Baltimore and Triple-A Norfolk in 2013.  In 170 plate appearances last year for the O’s, he had a .304/.330/.553 slash line to go with eight homers.  The 29-year-old has seen scattered MLB action since a mediocre stint as the Twins’ everyday third bagger in 2011. 

5:51pm: Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports confirms that Kratz is headed to Kansas City (Twitter link).

5:46pm: The Royals and Blue Jays have agreed to a trade, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Right-hander Liam Hendriks is heading to Kansas City in the deal, and Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi tweets that catcher Erik Kratz is expected to be joining the Royals as well.

The 25-year-old Hendriks was once considered one of the Top 10 prospects in the Twins organization, but he made his rounds on waivers over the past season after failing to translate his excellent Triple-A numbers to the Major Leagues. Hendriks allowed nine runs in 13 1/3 innings for the Jays this season and has a 6.06 ERA in 169 1/3 innings throughout his big league career. The Aussie right-hander has a strong 3.23 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 1.3 BB/9 in 362 1/3 career innings at the Triple-A level. Baseball America tweets that he was impressive at the Triple-A All Star Game this season — a team that he was named to after posting a brilliant 2.33 ERA in 18 minor league appearances this year.

Kratz, who turned 34 last month, is expected to help the Royals at the big league level. The former Phillies backstop has seen limited time with the Blue Jays in 2014, slashing .198/.226/.346 with three homers. Low batting averages and plus pop have been the story of Kratz’s big league career, as he’s hit just .216 with a .271 OBP in 501 plate appearances but boasts a solid .181 isolated power mark (slugging minus batting average). Kratz is a career .268/.342/.474 hitter in 1618 Triple-A plate appearances. He has consistently rated as a strong pitch-framer and pitch-blocker, and he’s gunned down 32 percent of attempted base stealers in his big league career.


Blue Jays Claim Liam Hendriks, Designate Brent Morel For Assignment

The Blue Jays announced that they've claimed right-hander Liam Hendriks off waivers from the Orioles and designated infielder Brent Morel for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot.

The 25-year-old Hendriks has been unable to put it together in three Major League stints, as evidenced by his bloated 6.06 ERA in 156 innings. He's averaged 5.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in those 156 frames to go along with a below-average 40.4 percent ground-ball rate.

However, the Australian hurler was once a well-regarded prospect in the Twins system, ranking sixth and seventh on the Baseball America's Top 10 Twins prospects lists from 2010-11. Hendriks has a 3.61 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 254 career innings at Triple-A and a career 2.99 ERA in the minors as a whole. He's been claimed off waivers by the Cubs and Orioles already this offseason, making the Blue Jays his fourth organization since being designated for assignment by Minnesota.

As for Morel, he too is a former AL Central top prospect. Morel cracked Baseball America's Top 100 list as a White Sox farmhand prior to the 2011 season but has slashed just .229/.276/.333 batting line in 669 Major League plate appearances. A bulging disk in his back has played a large part in the offense decline for the 26-year-old, who in 2010 batted .322/.359/.480 across two minor league levels. He's drawn praise for his glove at third base, though Toronto was reportedly going to use him at second base.



Orioles Designate Liam Hendriks For Assignment

The Orioles have designated righty Liam Hendriks for assignment to clear a roster spot for Ubaldo Jimenez, the club announced. The 25-year-old Aussie has bounced around quite a bit already this offseason, moving from the Twins to the Cubs and then on to Baltimore.

Though Hendricks has been seen as a solid prospect in the past, and has a strong minor league track record to back that up, he has struggled in his early-career MLB action. Over 156 total innings pitched, he sports a 6.06 ERA, with 5.8 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9 and a 40.4% ground-ball rate. Last year was particularly ugly, as he surrendered a disconcerting 1.9 HR/9 en route to a 6.46 ERA in 47 1/3 innings for Minnesota.


Orioles Notes: Hendriks, Balfour, K-Rod

The Orioles' claim of Liam Hendriks today was, like many waiver claims, an acquisition made with depth in mind — Orioles executive Dan Duquette sees Hendriks as a possible spot starter, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun tweets. But Duquette also likes Hendriks' control. Hendriks struggled in the Majors in 2013, but he walked only 1.4 batters per nine innings in 98 1/3 frames for Triple-A Rochester, and since he was only 24, Duquette is optimistic that he might be able to post strong control numbers in the big leagues. Here are more notes on the Orioles.

  • Hendriks' acquisition won't stop the Orioles from pursuing starting pitching. The O's continue to look for starters in both free agency and the trade market, Encina tweets. Baltimore has been connected to starters including Ubaldo Jimenez, Johan Santana and A.J. Burnett.
  • Don't expect a big move before Christmas, however — Duquette indicates that most teams will begin their holiday breaks after today (via MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko on Twitter).
  • The Grant Balfour "fiasco" could be an issue for the Orioles as they pursue free agents, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal writes. The O's backed out of their agreement with Balfour over concern regarding his medicals, a concern some other teams did not share. That wasn't the first time the Orioles had voided a deal for medical reasons, as Rosenthal describes. "This will factor into every competent agent's thought process going forward," an agent tells Rosenthal.
  • The Orioles do not seem to be interested in re-signing Francisco Rodriguez, Kubatko writes. Instead, they'll likely go with Tommy Hunter or free agent Fernando Rodney for their closer role.

Orioles Claim Liam Hendriks

The Orioles announced that they have claimed right-hander Liam Hendriks of waivers from the Cubs. The Cubs claimed Hendriks just days prior after he was designated for assignment by the Twins to make room for Phil Hughes on the 40-man roster.

The soon-to-be 25-year-old ranked sixth and seventh on the Baseball America's Top 10 Twins prospects lists from 2010-11 and has a solid minor league history. The Australian righty has a 3.61 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 254 career innings at Triple-A and a career 2.99 ERA in the minors as a whole.

Hendriks has been unable to put it together in three Major League stints, however, as evidenced by his bloated 6.06 ERA in 156 innings. He's averaged 5.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in those 156 frames to go along with a below-average 40.4 percent ground-ball rate. Hendriks barely averages better than 90 mph on his fastball, leading to too much hard contact when it's in the zone, as evidenced by a 23.3 percent line-drive rate from his opponents that has helped bloat his career BABIP to .330.

After claiming Hendriks, the Orioles now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.


Cubs Claim Liam Hendriks

The Cubs have claimed right-hander Liam Hendriks off waivers from the Twins, reports La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (on Twitter). Hendriks had been designated for assignment last week to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Phil Hughes.

Hendriks, still just 24 years old, makes for a nice buy-low option for the Cubs. The 25-year-old ranked sixth and seventh on the Baseball America's Top 10 Twins prospects lists from 2010-11 and has a solid minor league history. The Australian righty has a 3.61 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 254 career innings at Triple-A and a career 2.99 ERA in the minors as a whole.

Hendriks has been unable to put it together in three Major League stints, however, as evidenced by his bloated 6.06 ERA in 156 innings. He's averaged 5.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in those 156 frames to go along with a below-average 40.4 percent ground-ball rate. Hendriks barely averages better than 90 mph on his fastball, leading to too much hard contact when it's in the zone, as evidenced by a 23.3 percent line-drive rate from his opponents that has helped bloat his career BABIP to .330.

In their most recent write-up of Hendriks (prior to the 2011 campaign), Baseball America noted that Hendriks had the ceiling of a No. 3 starter if he could continue to keep his fastball down in the zone to pair with a solid slider and above-average changeup.


Twins Designate Liam Hendriks For Assignment

The Twins have designated right-hander Liam Hendriks for assignment in order to clear a roster spot for the newly signed Phil Hughes, according to Tyler Mason of FOX Sports North (on Twitter).

Hendriks, who turns 25 in February, ranked sixth and seventh on the Baseball America's Top 10 Twins prospects lists from 2010-11. Though he has a solid track record in the minor leagues (3.61 ERA, 6.2 K/9, 1.6 BB/9 in 254 Triple-A innings), he's struggled tremendously in part of three Major League seasons.

Hendriks has pitched for the Twins in each of the past three seasons, totaling 156 innings. However, the Australian hurler has little to show for it, as he's posted a 6.06 ERA with 5.7 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 40.4 percent ground-ball rate. Home runs have been a persistent problem for Hendriks, who has averaged 1.7 big flies per nine innings in his Major League tenure.