The Royals only had one player left to negotiate with before today’s deadline to exchange arbitration figures and came to an agreement with pitcher Luke Hochevar on a salary for 2013.
Hochevar will make $4.56 million in 2013 with another $100,000 in performance bonuses, according to Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star. That’s about a one million dollar raise from last year’s salary. Grathoff also noted that Dayton Moore has ever had a player get to an arbitration hearing and the streak will stay alive this year as well.
In 2012, Hochevar threw 185.1 innings and had a 5.73 ERA. He’ll battle with Bruce Chen for the final spot in a revamped rotation in spring training.
By now, we all know the Hochevar story. Great in some starts. Awful in a lot more. Below average the rest of the time. If he doesn’t stick in the rotation this spring, he may get a look out of the bullpen where he can come in with nobody on, a situation that seems to inspire better performance (and produces better numbers). Batters have a career OPS of .738 against Hochevar when he faces them with nobody on. When there are runners on base, that climbs to .851. Just as a means of comparison, Jeremy Guthrie‘s opposing batters have a .756 OPS with no runners on but just a small climb to .770 with runners on.
The Royals, obviously, hope that Hochevar finally turns that corner next season.