Luke Hochevar returns to Royals on two-year deal as KC improves pen

Luke Hochevar was 5-2 with a 1.92 ERA in 2013. (USATSI)
Luke Hochevar was 5-2 with a 1.92 ERA in 2013. (USATSI)

The Royals, who rode an all-time great bullpen all the way to the World Series, are enhancing that strength by re-signing free agent righthander Luke Hochevar, who missed the 2014 season after a brilliant 2013 campaign.

Hochevar has agreed to a $10-million, two-year deal with Kansas City, according to sources.

If history holds, Hochevar should be ready to pitch around the time of spring training following Tommy John surgery performed during last spring training.

Hochevar, a former No. 1 overall draft pick, was 5-2 with a 1.92 ERA and 0.82 WHIP and 82 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings in 2013, and will combine with holdovers Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland, who as a trio anchored baseball's best bullpen in 2014. The Royals also re-signing Jason Frasor.

Hochevar was Davis before Davis turned into one of baseball's best relievers last year following his converstion to the pen. Davis had been in competition for the No. 5 starters job last spring but was moved to the pen due to Hochevar's injury.

Like Davis, Hochevar became a star of the pen in '13 following a rough year starting in 2012, when he posted a 5.73 ERA.

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