Saturday, March 16, 2013
KC's final rotation spot
By Jason A. Churchill
The Kansas City Royals have narrowed down their competition for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, announcing Wednesday that former No. 1 pick Luke Hochevar was being moved to the bullpen. That leaves Bruce Chen, Yordano Ventura, Will Smith and Luis Mendoza as remaining candidates. Mendoza and Chen appear to be the heavy favorites.
Chen, 35, is guaranteed $4.5 million for 2013 and as a result may be the arm to beat from this point forward. Mendoza's stuff may play out of the bullpen better, too.
Hochevar is set to earn $4.56 million this season, but the Royals can release him and owe only termination pay, which is a fraction of that total. They could talk trade with clubs, something ESPN The Magazine's Doug Mittler discussed earlier this month, but CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler tweeted Wednesday night that clubs that inquired were rebuffed by the asking price.