MLB: Chicago White Sox at Atlanta Braves

The return of White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks after his cancer treatment has been one of the feel-good stories of the 2023 season. Unfortunately, the season for Hendriks only lasted five outings on the mound. He's been out with an elbow injury since June 9 and the White Sox told reporters that he underwent Tommy John surgery Wednesday (via Daryl Van Shouwen). 

Tommy John surgery is the famous procedure used to repair a torn ulnar-collateral ligament in the elbow. Generally speaking, pitchers need 10-14 months of rehab to return from it, and given that this is Aug. 2 it's possible this means Hendriks is done for the 2024 season, too. 

Hendriks signed a three-year deal with the White Sox prior to the 2021 season and there's a $15 million option for the 2024 season. It would be obvious that the White Sox would decline the option, but there's also a $15 million buyout if they don't pick up the option, so they are on the hook for the money regardless. As such, it's anyone's guess if he'll hit free agency this offseason or next. 

Hendriks, 34, had a 5.40 ERA in five innings this season, but in his previous two seasons with the White Sox he was an All-Star. In 2022, he had a 2.81 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 85 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings. He closed 37 of his 41 save chances. 

Whenever Hendriks does return, he likely has a couple more productive years left in the tank, so he'll have a decent market once he hits free agency after the 2024 season.