Washington Nationals: Finding a closer on the open market

Alex Colome #48 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 26, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Alex Colome #48 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 26, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Liam Hendricks makes for an intriguing closer candidate for the Washington Nationals.
Liam Hendriks #16 of the Oakland Athletics pitches during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 12, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Liam Hendricks

We can think of this guy as a more dominant version of Daniel Hudson. Much like Hudson, Liam Hendricks was a starting pitcher before making his way to the bullpen. He was also just a bullpen guy before taking over the duties of a closer.

In the last year and a half as the stopper for the Oakland A’s, Hendricks has saved 39 games and made an All-Star team. In back to back years he has posted an ERA of 1.80 or less.

Hendricks is currently a hot commodity with several teams interested in his services. The New York Yankees are rumored to be in play. The Houston Astros are looking for a veteran presence at the back of their bullpen with Roberto Osuna’s future in question, and Ryan Pressly struggling in his new role.

I do see Hendricks as a potential fit for the Washington Nationals depending on what they are going to do with Tanner Rainey long term. If they are willing to give the keys to Rainey at some point soon, bringing Hendricks in doesn’t make much sense.

He’ll turn 32 prior to next season, though Hendricks should be able to score a three year deal as well. The price tag may be more than the Nationals are willing to spend, knowing Rainey is waiting in the wings.

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