Not that the "if" was ever really in much doubt, but the Orioles have finally agreed on a contract to bring pitcher Mark Hendrickson back to the team. The $1.2 M deal - with a $0.2 M buyout on the $1.2 M option for 2011, which would take the total salary up to $1.4 M - is a bit less than Hendrickson accepted to come to Baltimore last off-season. I looked at Mark's 2009 with the Birds previously:
"Hendrickson did start the year as a starter, but that didn’t last too long. After 7 he was moved to the bullpen, where he pitched the majority of the year. He did make 4 more starts at the end of the season when the O’s shut down most of their young starters. Hendrickson finished at almost his exact career marks, with a 5.40 ERA in 50 IP as a starter and a 3.44 ERA in 55 IP as a reliever. His 4.32 overall ERA was better than I had expected, though his 4.92 FIP was a bit disappointing. Mark’s underlying stats were pretty much in line with his career numbers. He didn’t strike out to many guys (5.23 K/9) and didn’t walk too many either (2.83 BB/9). His groundball and flyballs rates were normal, though he did give up a fair number of home runs (1.37 HR/9) due to a 12.7% HR/FB rate. Adjusting for that, his expected FIP was 4.68.As a reliever, Hendrickson's career stats include a 3.40 ERA, a 6.9 K/9, a 2.4 BB/9, and a 0.62 HR/9. Those stats would correspond to about a 3.38 FIP, though it was around 3.56 just for 2009 (the strike-out rate was down a little). In any case, a FIP in the 3.75 area in 60-80 IP would make Hendrickson worth at least 0.5 Wins Above Replacement, and possible closer to a full win. Even with the depressed free agent market that's worth $1.5 M to $3.5 M, so the contract is anywhere between a fair deal and a slight bargain. So yeah, I like the move fine enough. Hendrickson adds a lefty to the pen - which is currently missing a prominent one, besides closer Mike Gonzalez - and that's a role that he should be more effective in. Nothing earth-shattering, but it does help a little without any real downside. Plus, if a contender is in need of some cheap left-handed bullpen help at the deadline, they'll know who to call.
Nothing too impressive, but he was worth 0.5 Wins Above Replacement and $2.2 M, which makes his contract worthwhile. Word is that Hendrickson wants to come back to the O’s next season. As swing-men go, he’s not bad. He won’t completely embarrass you as a starter, and is actually pretty effective out of the pen without a big platoon split. If the 35 year-old was willing to sign for a contract similar to the one he had this year then that would be a solid move for the team. I doubt he would start the year in the rotation again though, and that indicates some of the progress the O’s have made."
Let me know how you think Hendrickson will do next season for the O's here.