The White Sox bullpen is looking to be bolstered with some major additions. After trading for 2020 Cy Young candidate Lance Lynn, and bringing back outfielder Adam Eaton, The White Sox have been linked to Liam Hendriks and now Brad Hand.
White Sox Rumors: Is Brad Hand a Good Fit?
Brad Hand should be a great fit in an already solid White Sox bullpen. The pen was one of the strengths last season with breakout performances from Aaron Bummer, Evan Marshall, and rookie Garrett Crochet who may be a starter going forward.
If the Sox do end up signing Brad Hand, he would slot in perfectly in their closer spot with their former closer Alex Colome being a free-agent. A lot of fans criticized Colome but he is a solid closer who has played well since coming to Chicago in 2019. With that being said Hand is a better closer and he led MLB in saves in 2020.
While Colome is solid, he can be a little inconsistent at times. This is something Hand has over Colome. Hand has bounced around the league since making his debut in 2011 but he has been a stud reliever since 2016 putting up great numbers.
Hand would be great for Chicago because he also brings a veteran presence to their bullpen. I talked earlier about how the Sox had some breakout pitchers in the pen during the 2020 season but they have a lot of young guys. Hand can very easily slot into the closer role and may end up as the leader of the White Sox bullpen as well.
Who to Choose between Hendriks and Hand?
Both players would be really solid additions to an already good White Sox bullpen but most likely only one player can be had by this team. Of course, there is no salary cap in baseball so theoretically, if Chicago wanted both they can try to sign both guys.
If I’m going to look at this through a realistic lens, however, the Sox will certainly only sign one of them. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has a history of being cheap at times and I’d expect this scenario to be no different.
Both players made their debut in 2011 and it took Hendriks a little longer to establish himself as a dominant closer but over the last couple of years, Hendriks has entered into elite territory.
On the other hand (pun intended) Brad Hand has been a force for almost half of a decade. He’s been one of the best closers in the majors. It took him a few years to get on track but since his days with the Padres, Hand has shown to be a great reliever.
Final Thoughts on the White Sox Bullpen
By all accounts, the White Sox are going to be contenders in 2021. After how good they were in 2020 there is no reason to think this won’t be the case. One of the criticisms of the team last season was their pitching staff. Adding Brad Hand to go along with an already strong bullpen can help the Sox greatly.
The White Sox bullpen has some good young arms and adding Brad Hand can really help in putting the team over the top. The Sox’s offseason has been in a bit of disarray since the hiring of manager Tony La Russa.
At times, it has felt like one step forward and two steps back. Hiring La Russa was hated by most fans and while trading Lynn was considered a great move, adding Adam Eaton left some scratching their heads.
I believe that adding one more pitcher to the White Sox bullpen will give fans more hope and there is absolutely nothing wrong with adding an established closer such as Brad Hand.
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