The New York Mets have shown interest in a trade for White Sox closer Liam Hendriks, according to multiple reports.
One report indicates the Mets are among a few teams who have contacted the White Sox to inquire about the All-Star closer, according to Michael Mayer.
By all accounts, this does not mean the White Sox would entertain any trade talks surrounding their most valuable bullpen asset. Several rumors have swirled about Hendriks in the trade market, yet none conclude the idea that the White Sox have any interest in dealing the closer.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean the Sox aren’t listening.
“You absolutely have to listen,” general manager Rick Hahn said during winter meetings. “I saw there was a rumor right after we finished talking yesterday. That’s just us doing our job, is listening through people’s ideas. Our pitching is viewed as an area of strength. In this game, that’s something that’s coveted.”
Hendriks, 33, has played the last two seasons of his career on the South Side. During those two seasons, he’s racked up two All-Star nods and 75 saves on the mound. He is widely viewed as one of the Sox’ most valuable assets.
Hahn mentioned the front office would be working mainly through the trade market to build their 2023 roster, as opposed to free agency.
“I think it’s more likely things wind up via trade,” Hahn said. “Don’t know if that’s gonna be here (winter meetings). Certainly know we’re gonna have some productive conversations.”
Nevertheless, Hahn and the front office followed his prognostications by signing starting pitcher Mike Clevinger to a one-year, $12 million deal. Then, he handed out the largest contract in franchise history to outfielder Andrew Benintendi.
Now, as the waves of free agency calm, the trade market could soon start opening up.
Will the White Sox follow through with their initial plan to be active in the trade market?
“We’re not doing our jobs if we’re not listening to what ideas people present,” Hahn said. “At the end, we’re certainly not out there shopping any individual player, but we can’t be close-minded to any ideas that show up.”