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    Tuesday, July 23, 2024

    Reliever Liam Hendriks and outfielder Cody Bellinger selected MLB's Comeback Players of the Year

    FILE - Chicago Cubs' Cody Bellinger watches his home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, July 7, 2023, in New York. Bellinger declined his end of a $25 million mutual option for 2024 as expected and will test the free-agent market coming off a bounce-back season. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
    Chicago White Sox pitcher Liam Hendriks talks to people on the field before a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, in Chicago. Hendriks underwent Tommy John elbow surgery earlier in the week. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

    New York — Reliever Liam Hendriks and outfielder Cody Bellinger were selected Major League Baseball's Comeback Players of the Year on Tuesday.

    The pair, both free agents, were chosen in voting by MLB.com beat writers.

    Hendriks, a 34-year-old right-hander, made his season debut on May 29 following treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He went 2-0 with one save and a 5.40 ERA in five appearances for the Chicago White Sox, the last on June 9. He went on the injured list with right elbow inflammation and on Aug. 2 had Tommy John surgery, which will sideline him until late in the 2024 season or 2025.

    A three-time All-Star, Hendriks is 33-34 with a 3.82 ERA and 116 saves in 140 appearances in 13 major league seasons for Minnesota (2011-13), Kansas City (2014), Toronto (2014-15), Oakland (2016-20) and the White Sox (2021-23).

    Hendriks went 8-3 with a 2.54 ERA and a career-high 38 saves in 2021, his first year after signing a $54 million, three-year deal with Chicago as a free agent, then 4-4 with a 2.81 ERA and 37 saves in 2022. The White Sox declined a $15 million option and will pay a $15 million buyout in 10 equal installments from 2024-33.

    Bellinger, 28, hit a career-high .307 with 26 homers and 97 RBIs after signing a $17.5 million, one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs as a free agent. He went free again after declining a $25 million mutual option and taking a $5 million buyout. He gets a $1 million bonus for being selected a Comeback Player of the Year.

    A two-time All-Star voted the 2017 NL Rookie of the Year and 2018 National League Championship Series MVP with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bellinger was limited to 95 games during the 2021 regular season, when he was on the injured list three times and batted .165. He hit .353 in 12 games in that postseason and had the go-ahead RBI single in Game 5 of the NL Division Series against the San Francisco. Bellinger also had a tying, three-run homer against Atlanta in Game 3 of the NL Championship Series.

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