Forbidden Love is a Cubs DNA series where our staff waxes poetic about a player on a team other than the Cubs. Maybe even one you think they should hate. In this installment, Staci's pro-Aussie bias goes into overdrive as she scolds the A's for most certainly not paying up for fireballing free agent reliever Liam Hendriks!
We all know the Yay A's! don't pay players actual money. I mean, yeah, once in a while they'll extend a contract in a surprise move like they did with Khris Davis a few year back, but that is far more an anomaly than anything regular that happens in Oakland. And before you say "small market team," I should remind everyone that you can literally go to the proposed site of the A's new ballpark and gaze across the Bay at PNC/SBC/PacBell Park or whatever they're calling it where the Giants play these days (and yes, I know it's Oracle Park). The Bay Area is the Bay Area... the A's just choose to operate like they play in Fresno.
That brings me back to Liam Hendriks. In his last two season with the A's, Hendriks has posted a 1.80 and 1.78 ERA respectively as the team's closer, with ridiculous 1.87 and 1.14 (!!!) FIPs to match. In short, Hendriks has been nothing short of filthy, lock down, almost unhittable the last two seasons and actually improved in his COVID-shortened 2020 campaign. He seems like a guy that any team would love to have, especially a team who just came off a decisive division win and could continue to dominate said division with their biggest rivals no longer able to use their greatest weapon.
I know it's low hanging fruit, but I'm still going there.
Hendriks is also the kind of guy you want your team to keep because, well, he's a fighter! Now, I'll admit I have an affinity for folks from Down Under, but seriously--Hendriks made a huge comeback to build these last few years of stats after being sent down to AAA and DFA'd in his career a whopping 5 times!
At this point, you get a feeling that Hendriks is just grateful to be in the majors, but honestly... he's dominating hitters and it's a beautiful thing to watch.
All that filth, and it comes with a delightful Aussie accent. It's such a shame that the Yay A's! refuse to spend money, because if they did Hendriks would be a perfect guy to pony up some cash for. (They won't be paying Marcus Semien either, so...)
Not that he won't get paid, though... he just won't be wearing green and gold when he does.