Ranking potential closer options for Kansas City Royals

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 23: Scott Alexander
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 23: Scott Alexander /
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TORONTO, CANADA – JULY 4: Luke Hochevar
TORONTO, CANADA – JULY 4: Luke Hochevar /

Wild Card: Luke Hochevar

A dark horse in this race could be old friend Luke Hochevar. He is technically not an internal candidate, having spent the last year recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. Due to that surgery he could be had for a very cheap price. A reunion between player and team makes a ton of sense as Moore looks to improve the bullpen.

Hochevar had a mostly disappointing run as a starting pitcher after being taken first overall in the 2006 draft. After a move to the bullpen in 2013, he reinvented himself as so many Kansas City Royals have done. Hochevar was a stud in 2013 before needing Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2014. He returned the next year to be an effective fireman for the team and was the winning pitcher in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series.

Admittedly, Hochevar has no shot to be the closer out of spring training if the team does sign him. After two major operations in the past several years, he would need to prove he has recovered from his surgery first. There is also no doubt that there will be a few others ahead of him on the depth chart. If he manages to return to form and one or two others stumble, he could be the man by season’s end.