Liam Hendriks Rumors

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.