Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer joined the "The Mully and Haugh Show" on 670 The Score on Thursday morning and touched on the recovery of starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks. A shoulder injury ended Hendricks' season in July and Hoyer is expecting Hendricks to return during the 2023 season but the overall outlook remains uncertain. That would be why there was some surprise to see Jon Heyman of the New York Post report that Hendricks has been made available on the trade block by the Cubs.
"Coincidental that Hendricks (Kyle) and Hendriks (Liam) are available Chicagoans. …"- Jon Heyman, New York Post
When healthy last season, Hendricks struggled. Hendricks posted a 4.80 ERA in 16 starts last season and the advanced metrics, 5.07 xERA, and 4.82 FIP, speak to the struggles being more on Hendricks as opposed to bad luck. The same can be said for Hendricks' 2021 season as he posted a 4.77 ERA, 4.95 xERA, and 4.89 FIP in 32 starts.
It remains to be seen if Hendricks will be ready to start the season as it would appear more likely that he will begin the season on the injured list. Given the struggles that Hendricks has had over the past two seasons and legitimate questions over the health of his throwing shoulder, it is hard to see there being any trade value for the starting pitcher.
Hendricks' ineffectiveness and durability concerns are the reason why the Cubs have bolstered the starting rotation this offseason. Veteran Jameson Taillon will likely slide into the starting rotation after Marcus Stroman and Justin Steele and veteran Drew Smyly will likely be inserted in the backend of the team's rotation. The Cubs, unlike last season, have compiled starting pitching depth heading into the 2023 season and the team doesn't have to depend on Hendricks returning to form. Hendricks is likely entering his final season with the Cubs as it seems unlikely that he will hit the requirements for his 2024 option to vest.