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Right-hander Liam Hendriks brings his Aussie accent to Boston. He agreed to $10 million, 2-year deal

 WBN  |    Feb 20th, 2024 3:38pm EST

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Liam Hendriks grew up watching the Boston Red Sox a lot in Australia. He’s happy he’ll finally get a chance to pitch for them.

Boston and Hendriks finalized a $10 million, two-year contract on Tuesday, a deal that includes a mutual option for 2026 and could be worth $30 million over three seasons.

“It’s an exciting time, finally happening, and now we get to talk about it a little more,” Hendriks said, turning around to look at a name plate that read “Boston Red Sox” at an empty locker in the team’s spring training complex.

“It’s one of the teams I followed a lot as a kid. It was one of the only ones that came on TV when I was back in Australia,” he said. “The Red Sox and Cardinals are two teams that seemed to be on a lot.”

Hendriks gets $2 million this year and $6 million in 2025, and the option is for $12 million with a $2 million buyout.

He could earn $5 million in performance bonuses in 2025 for innings: $250,000 each for 30, 35, 40 and 45, $500,000 apiece for 50, 55, 60 and 65, and $1 million each for 70 and 75.

Hendriks could earn another $5 million in 2025 for games finished: $1 million each for 45, 50, 55, 60, and 65.

Hendriks is the reigning AL Comeback Player of the Year after returning to the mound last May 29 following being diagnosed with Stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December 2022.

His 2023 season ended after only five appearances when he was placed on the injured list with right elbow inflammation on June 12. That led to Tommy John surgery on Aug. 2.

“It hasn’t been great,” he said of last season being shortened by the elbow injury. “I’ve been pitching through stuff, but that’s how it is. That’s what you’re paid to do, you pitch through stuff.”

But he wanted to overcome the cancer scare and was determined to get back.

“I’ve said it before: I’m pretty sure I knew in my head, I knew it was gone before I even started my rehab assignment,” he said of the elbow injury. “But I refused to not get back. I would have pitched left-handed if I made it back last year.”

A three-time All-Star — with Oakland in 2019 and the Chicago White Sox in 2021 and ’22 — Hendriks knows he brings a lot of energy to a clubhouse. Even manager Alex Cora noticed it right away.

“A lot of annoying sayings,” he said of himself, smiling while speaking in his Aussie accent. “Alex said this morning: ‘If you see a constant buzz around the clubhouse, it’s because Liam hasn’t shut up.’ That’s who I am.”

Hendriks feels like his accent will fit right in in Boston.

“Everybody speaks of my accent,” he joked. “I don’t pronounce my Rs, so I think we’re good there. I love being around the Boston area. My wife loves Boston.”

He hopes to be back in games near the trade deadline. He’s just been playing catch so far.

“Everything is going well. They seemed pleased the way it’s going,” he said of the team’s training staff. “They saw me throw for the first time today. Now it’s just a matter of me trying to poke and prod them to go as fast as I can, and them trying to reign me back in a safe way of doing things.”

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb