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Astros Rumors: Liam Hendriks, Brad Hand Among Closers on Houston's Radar

Adam WellsJanuary 10, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 07: Liam Hendriks #16 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates a 9-7 win against the Houston Astros in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian

The Houston Astros are reportedly keeping an eye on two All-Star relievers to fill their vacant closer's role. 

Per MLB.com's Jon Morosi, the Astros are looking at veterans Liam Hendriks and Brad Hand, among others, in free agency. 

Roberto Osuna, who served as Houston's closer the past two seasons, became a free agent in October after clearing waivers. The 25-year-old was limited to four games in 2020 due to an elbow injury that he said "hopefully" won't require Tommy John surgery. 

Hand became a free agent when Cleveland waived him after declining to pick up his $10 million option for 2021. The left-hander led Major League Baseball with 16 saves and had a 2.05 ERA in 23 games last season. 

Hendriks bounced around the big leagues with the Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays before finding his niche in Oakland. The Australian star was traded to the A's in November 2015 and spent the past two seasons as their primary closer. 

Since the start of 2019, Hendriks has posted a 1.79 ERA with 161 strikeouts and 39 saves in 110.1 innings. 

Houston is likely going to reshape its bullpen this offseason. In addition to Osuna, Chris Devenski is also a free agent, and Chase de Jong signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates on January 5. 

An established veteran like Hand or Hendriks would go a long way toward solidifying the back end of the Astros relief corps as they try to get back to the postseason in 2021. 

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