3) Luke Hochevar
His appearance on 6/16/2016 not withstanding, Luke Hochevar has been excellent out of the bullpen for the KC Royals. Another failed starter turned reliever, Hochevar had a 3.73 ERA in 49 appearances in 2015. Hochevar was a key arm out of the pen in the playoffs in 2015 and probably would have factored into the 2014 playoffs had he not been sidelined with an injury.
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Hochevar has been even more effective in 2016 as both a 7th/8th inning setup man, and at stranding runners when another pitcher finds himself in trouble. Hochevar’s ERA in 2016 is down to 3.21, and his FIP is around 3.5 so it appears that Hochevar has indeed found a place for himself in the Major Leagues.
Bullpen arms are another hot commodity at the trade deadline as most teams want to staff the pen with as many arms as possible. I believe Hochevar would have many suitors come August 1st, should the KC Royals not be in contention.
Hochvear is also in the final year of his team controlled contract with a mutual option for 2017. If Hochevar continues to have a good 2016, it is unlikely that he will agree to $7 Million so Hochevar is likely headed for free agency. In otherwords, Hochevar would be a rental.
While Hochevar may not bring the prospect haul Volquez would, I could see a teams like Cleveland, Chicago, Detriot, Boston etc all lining up to claim Hochevar. So the KC Royals could get some real value moving Hochevar.
Next: Trade Bait No. 4