March 12, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur (21) hits in the first inning during a spring training game against the Oakland Athletics at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royal Rumor Mill: Jeff Francoeur & Luke Hochevar

Inevitably these last two week or so of Spring Training, a few rumors start to leak out about player movement as teams scramble to cover injuries, failed prospects, or just plain poor performances, as the season approaches. The Royals are no different.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the Royals are looking for a left handed platoon partner for Jeff Francoeur. Rosenthal states the Royals are not optimistic they will find what they are looking for.

MLB’com’s Angel Gonzalez reports the Angels are keeping an eye on the Royals’ back-up catcher situation as they may have interest in George Kottaras or Brett Hayes. The Angles are in need of a back-up themselves.

Danny Knobler of reported on twitter last week that the Royals were willing to trade Luke Hochevar but the asking price was high.


This was confirmed by the Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton in a Q&A session. The question came via twitter.

@DanielSWesley: Rumor has it the #Royals are asking a lot in return to trade Hochevar… any idea what they’re asking for? Is a trade likely?

I’d say it’s more than a rumor. The Royals appear to want a guy who could help the big-league club or a legitimate prospect. Plus, they don’t want to eat a lot of Luke Hochevar’s $4.56 million salary.

At this point, unless they get their price, I think the Royals are quite willing to take a look at Hochevar in the bullpen.

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While the first of these two rumors listed above should really be no-brainers, the one concerning Hochevar is a bit puzzling. It is understandable that the Royals would want to trade him but why is the asking price high. They should be willing to send him off for a bucket of balls and a steak dinner for Dayton Moore the next time the Royals come to town., especially if they can find someone to take him and not require the Royals to pay much of the $4.56 million for which Hochevar was tendered.
The Royals have less than two weeks to solidify their Opening Day roster, with or without Hochevar, with or without a strong left handed right fielder, and with either Brett Hayes or George Kottaras caddying for Salvador Perez. We will keep our ears to the ground.


Tags: Brett Hayes Featured George Kottaras Jeff Francoeur Kansas City Royals Luke Hochevar Popular

  • jimfetterolf

    I think Bob Dutton also reported that the Royals’ payroll was a fixed $70m and would go no higher.

    Dayton Moore doesn’t negotiate in public, so we can assume that the contestants for #5 are tradeable, along with Gio, one of the back-up catchers, Frenchy, and a few guys in Omaha, but the team will try to maximize return. Last year the blogosphere wanted to trade Jon Sanchez for a bucket of balls but Dayton Moore held out for Jeremy Guthrie.

    • Ben Nielsen

      The Royals payroll is around $79 million right now, so I think they are willing to go past that $70 million mark. Maybe $80 million is what you were going for? That would seem believable.

      I think the Royals got a little lucky with Guthrie. He had a 6.35 ERA at the time KC traded for him. KC banked on the Colorado factor playing a role in his problems and they were right, kudos to Moore. But to expect another “Guthrie-type” for Frenchy or Chen probably isn’t reasonable. If KC got a boom/bust A-ball arm for either of them I’d be happy.

      • jimfetterolf

        Guthrie had an injured shoulder and was a fly ball pitcher at Coors Field, so had upside. The teams basically exchanged injured pitchers, Guthrie got well, Sanchez went on the DL. Some had expectations, but the FO went ahead and pursued options and that time did well.

        As for payroll, last I heard it’s in the $83-$86 million range, which blew up the supposed hard 70 that was reported by Bob, which was what he was publicly told, but Dayton Moore doesn’t tell everything he knows.

        As for Frenchy and Chen, they’re both in walk year and are sunk expenses, so worst case can be cut as both will be replaced by minimum wage players, so the salary is no longer a big deal, it’s gone whether they are kept or not and there aren’t payroll negatives apparent. Best case is both return to ’11 form, next best is some trade value for one or both, worst is cut and replaced by David Lough and Will Smith.

  • jayhwk01

    Ever wonder who would fare better in a face off between Hoch and Frenchy. It could be so epically bad it might set baseball back 100 years. And to think both are on the Royals starting roster…..Awesome.

  • Joel Wagler

    I can’t imagine Francoeur or Hochevar can have much value to anyone right now, especially Frenchy. We are just stuck with him. Hochevar could still be cut and KC would only be on the hook for a fraction of the $4.56M.

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