Royals Will Bring Back Luke HochevarFollow @RoyalsBlue_com
It appears Luke Hochevar may get the chance to jump on a Royals dogpile after all. After proclaiming his greatest regret for missing the 2014 season as being that he would miss out on postseason fun, it seems he may still get his chance in the coming years.
It was announced by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that the Royals and Hochevar have agreed on a 2 year $10MM deal. The specifics of the deal are not yet clear.
Hochevar will be entering the 2015 season having missed all of last while recovering from Tommy John surgery. The 31 year old flamed out as a starter, and had seemed to finally find a role on the Royals as a lights out reliever, having excelled at that role in 2013 with a 1.92 ERA in 70.1 innings pitched. He struck out 82 batters in that span and managed a miniscule WHIP of .825, eventually becoming the set up man for closer Greg Holland, a role that Wade Davis assumed this past season.
It is conceivable that this opens up the possibility of trading either Holland or Davis, as they Royals will be committing a fair share of their budget to a trio of relievers over the next 2 seasons with Davis and Holland both becoming increasingly pricey.
Before the start of the 2013 season, Davis and Hochevar were vying for a spot in the starting rotation. It is possible the Royals may look to see if one of them might transition back into a starting role, though both have struggled in the past. As a starter, Hochevar has compiled a 5.39 ERA over 771 innings.
One worry will be that often times it takes a pitcher some time to regain command after Tommy John, so Hochevar may not be in top form when the season begins, however if he can find his groove by mid summer he would be an excellent asset to add to an already dominant bullpen.
It will be interesting to see what Dayton has planned for his trio of relievers. If the Royals do decide to keep all three, they will provide a formidable back end of the pen that should help shorten games even more for the Royals that only lost 1 game in all of last season when leading after the 7th inning.
In other news, the Royals decided to not tender a contract to reliever Franisley Bueno. The lefty compiled a 2.98 ERA over parts of 3 seasons and a total of 60 innings pitched. He pitched 32 innings in 2014 with a 4.18 ERA and striking out 20 batters. He will be 34 years old by seasons end but was a cheap option in the bullpen earning only $504,500 in the 2014 season and not being Arbitration eligible until 2017.
And the Royals look to have dodged a bullet or missed out on an opportunity (depending on how you look at it) as Torii Hunter will be returning to his original team the Minnesota Twins. It was announced last night that he will be signing a one year 10.5 million dollar deal with Minnesota. It will be interesting to see who comes up next on the Royals radar as a possible DH/Right Fielder as winter meetings ramp up this weekend in San Diego.
The Kansas City Royals have acquired free agent Kendrys Morales for 2 years and $17 Million. The switch hitting DH split time last season between Minnesota and Seattle, and had a sub par year for both squads. You may remember Morales set out until June ... Read more