MLB’s bullpen remains baseball’s last unsolved mystery


MESA, Ariz. – This time next year, Liam Hendriks may be a very rich man.

An All-Star reliever in 2019, Hendriks will be a free agent next winter, and in between lies a 2020 campaign that may very well include the Oakland Athletics right-hander closing out any number of championship celebrations in this season of significant expectations.

But Hendriks is not about to get ahead of himself. His profession is one not of predictive glory but volatility, the baseball landscape littered with one-year relief wonders who dazzle out of the bullpen one year, only to wither the next.

“If you can prove you can do it not only for that one flash-in-the-pan season, guys are being rewarded,” says Hendriks, who struck out 124 batters in 85 innings last year.

“Because it doesn’t happen that often.”

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