Hendriks signed a one-year, $2.15 million fully guaranteed deal with Oakland on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. Hendriks will be arbitration eligible for one more season before hitting the free-agent market. The 29-year-old appeared in 25 games and made eight "starts" -- which doesn't include taking the mound for the AL Wild Card Game in the Bronx -- this past year, logging a 4.13 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 8.2 K/9 across 24 innings. He finished the regular season strong and will be a vital cog in the Athletics' bullpen in 2019.
Hendriks will take the mound as Oakland's opening pitcher for Wednesday's AL Wild Card Game against the Yankees, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports. As expected, Hendriks will serve as the "opener" with the club choosing to go the route of a "bullpen game" instead of having a regular starter toe the rubber. Out of the 11 pitchers on the Athletics' roster for this contest, Edwin Jackson is the only typical starter that will be available Wednesday night. Don't expect to see Hendriks remain in the game past the first inning, as he's only recorded more than three outs twice in his last 16 appearances. The right-hander hasn't given up a run in his last 11.1 innings and holds a 0.71 WHIP with nine strikeouts during that span.
The Athletics are expected to use Hendriks as their opening pitcher in Wednesday's American League wild-card game against the Yankees, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports. Oakland lacks a bona fide ace, so it appears the team will treat Wednesday's contest as a "bullpen game," allowing manager Bob Melvin to take advantage of his cadre of high-quality relief options to quiet a power-packed Yankees lineup. Hendriks served as an opener in eight of his 25 regular-season appearances, logging a 2.08 ERA and 7:3 K:BB across 8.2 innings in those outings.
Hendriks will serve as the opener in Saturday's game against the Angels, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports. Trevor Cahill was originally penciled in as the traditional starter but will instead be the first arm out of the bullpen with Hendriks taking the first inning. The 29-year-old has a 2.35 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in seven appearances as the opener for the Athletics.
Hendriks threw one inning in his start on Friday, working around a hit and a walk to work a scoreless opening frame in an eventual 7-6 extra inning victory for the Athletics. It was the seventh time in September that Oakland opted to let Hendriks start off a bullpen day and he did his job in this one despite allowing two baserunners and needing 28 pitches to make it through the opening frame. His overall numbers on the season aren't impressive (5.03 ERA, 1.63 WHIP) but he hasn't allowed a run in any of those seven starting appearances, so he's doing well with that role. There just isn't much fantasy value to be found in it.