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MLB Storylines: Hochevar to miss the start of the season

MLB Storylines: Hochevar to miss the start of the season
Luke Hochevar was a dominating presence in the Royals pen last season with a 1.92 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 10.5 K/9. (Photo: AP)
March 6, 2014
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In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ajnicholsIBI.

Here are the stories from Wednesday, March 5th.

Top Stories

  • Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar will miss two to three months of the season due to a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm.  Hochevar will be shut down entirely for two or three weeks, before needing another couple of months to rehab.  As is the case with most ulnar collateral ligament injuries, Tommy John Surgery remains a possibility as well.

Tribe News 

  •’s Anthony Castrovince noted that Justin Masterson being willing to take a three to four year extension may be a strategic move on his part.  A three-year deal would take Masterson past the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement.  It is believed that the current qualifying offer system could be modified or even scrapped in the new collective bargaining agreement, meaning Masterson could possibly get the security of an extension while also having the possibility of not being hindered in the free agent market by a qualifying offer.  Castrovince also said that Masterson loves playing for Terry Francona, and that is “the only reason these extension conversations have had any traction.”
  • After trailing 5-1 after six innings, the Indians stormed back for an 8-5 victory over Seattle on Wednesday.  Ryan Raburn led the charge with his second homer of the spring.
  • Danny Salazar will make his first appearance of the spring on Friday morning in an intrasquard “B” game.

News and Notes

  • Roch Kubatko of reported that the Orioles appeared willing to go up to three years and $30 million for Ervin Santana, but are not interested in him at his current asking price of four years and $50 million.
  • Jarrod Saltalamachia told reporters that of the six or seven offers he received this winter, the Red Sox offered the lowest amount.
  • Rick Ankiel has decided to officially retire from baseball after 11 seasons.  Ankiel hopes to stay in baseball by landing a front office job.
  • Jon Heyman of CBS Sports wrote that while Jim Thome loves his front office job with the White Sox, he would still be interested in returning to the playing field if he received an offer.

User Comments

March 6, 2014 - 3:21 PM EST
Hochevar is not only injury within the division. Any Dirks of Tigers might be out for 3 months.
March 6, 2014 - 8:52 AM EST
I could see them tweaking the qualifying offer a little, but overall, it has done exactly what it was designed to do: limit draft compensation for teams. Under the old method, some teams would get as many as 5-7 compensation picks just because a guy ranked in the top x amount of players at his position. Remember how the Rays had like 8 picks in the first 2-4 rounds a few years back? No more. Now teams only get compensation for the top free agents, and only if they take a risk and extend the qualifying offer. It does hurt that teams will pretty much no longer get compensation for a reliever (i.e. Joe Smith....who under the old system the Indians probably got a pick)....but overall I think it has accomplished what it was set out to do because the compensation system was insane before. It isn't a perfect system and will be tweaked, but believe it is much simpler and the best system they have had yet. The problem is the agents and players need to be smarter with their decisions to turn them down. It is kind of like the franchise tag in the NFL where it really limits the market for free agents. I like it as it helps ensure that some good players actually have a chance to stick with teams, even smaller market teams.
March 6, 2014 - 8:44 AM EST
Risky move by Masterson if he's hoping the CBA will change the QOs. He'll be on the wrong side of 30 come then and may not get a big deal regardless of how things turn out.

Still think the QO system is mostly fine. Guys that aren't that great shouldn't be rejecting $14M+ offers.
March 6, 2014 - 8:43 AM EST
As big a blow as losing Hochevar is to that pen the Royals are a team that should be able to handle it. Lots of depth there and a great overall pen. A's keep getting love for what they did this winter but the Royals had a very solid pen as well. Maybe the Royals finally move Davis back to the pen (would love to see him keep starting though as a Tribe fan).

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