September 24, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Luke Hochevar (44) pitches during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Royals, Luke Hochevar Agree on Deal, Avoid Arbitration

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.

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