Oakland A’s: Potential landing spots for Liam Hendriks

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 17: Liam Hendriks #16 of the Oakland Athletics reacts to getting the save during the ninth inning to beat the Kansas City Royals at Ring Central Coliseum on September 17, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 17: Liam Hendriks #16 of the Oakland Athletics reacts to getting the save during the ninth inning to beat the Kansas City Royals at Ring Central Coliseum on September 17, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Houston Astros

There’s no doubt that the Houston Astros’ championship window is still wide open. Despite an injury-riddled bullpen last season, and a sub-.500 regular-season record, the Astros took the Tampa Bay Rays to seven games in the ALCS.

First things first for Houston is addressing the outfield with both George Springer and Michael Brantley heading for free agency. This is the team’s biggest and most obvious priority. Luckily for Houston, left fielder Kyle Tucker appears to be destined for big things. The 23-year-old crushed nine home runs, 42 RBIs, and added eight stolen bases last season.

Still, the bullpen comes next.

Houston relied heavily on rookie arms Andre Scrubb, Blake Taylor, and Enoli Paredes throughout the season after suffering lengthy injuries to Roberto Osuna, Brad Peacock, Chris Devenski, and Joe Biagini. Because of this reliance on rookie arms, the Astros bullpen ranked 25th in the MLB in WHIP (1.524).

There’s just a couple of items on Houston’s checklist to return to championship aspirations. First, re-sign either Brantley or Springer to sure up the outfield. Then, wait for the healthy returns of Peacock, Devenski, and Biagini. Lastly, create one of the best bullpens in baseball by signing the big-name free agent, and closer of the division rival Oakland A’s, Hendriks.