Redskins

Royals reach 1-year deal with RHP Luke Hochevar

Royals reach 1-year deal with RHP Luke Hochevar

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Kansas City Royals had already decided to give Luke Hochevar another chance.

Now they know exactly how much it's going to cost.

The Royals agreed to a one-year, $4.56 million deal with the right-hander on Friday to avoid arbitration. The deal includes up to $100,000 in performance bonuses.

Hochevar made 29 starts last season, going 8-16 with a 5.73 ERA. The former No. 1 overall pick showed flashes in some starts of the kind of pitcher the Royals hoped he would become, but he also had plenty of erratic outings that left team officials scratching their heads.

Royals manager Ned Yost has been among the most ardent supporters of Hochevar, saying just last month that he still believes the 29-year-old right-hander can turn the corner.

``We'll just see how it plays out, get to spring training and let him go,'' Yost said.

Spring training is where Hochevar will have to define his role, too.

The Royals were aggressive this offseason in rebuilding their starting rotation, trading with the Los Angeles Angels for Ervin Santana and his $13 million contract, and then making a blockbuster deal with the Tampa Bay Rays to acquire James Shields and Wade Davis. Kansas City gave up top prospect Wil Myers and several other pieces to get that deal done.

The Royals also signed Jeremy Guthrie to a $25 million, three-year deal. Guthrie was acquired in a mid-season trade from Colorado and pitched well down the stretch.

That means four of the five spots in the rotation are solidified, and Hochevar will compete with right-hander Luis Mendoza and left-handers Bruce Chen and Will smith for the final job.

The Royals already had one of the best bullpens in the American League last season, anchored by hard-throwing right-hander Greg Holland in the closer role. But should Hochevar lose out on a rotation spot, it's possible that he could become the Royals' long reliever.

Of course, he'd be carrying a hefty price tag for the job.

Hochevar's contract for next season represents a substantial increase over the $3.51 million he made last season, and came in part thanks to a career-best 144 strikeouts in 185.1 innings.

Still, his career over parts of six seasons is 38-59 with a 5.39 ERA, and many believe he regressed last season after going 11-11 with a 4.68 ERA in 2011.

``If you're going to win consistently in the major leagues, you're going to need a rotation that gives you innings, competes, helps you win,'' general manager Dayton Moore said recently. ``That's what our goal is, to put together a very good rotation. We feel we've done that.''

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10 Questions in 10 days: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart

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10 Questions in 10 days: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart

The Redskins top two linebackers rank among the most productive units in the NFL. When healthy, Mason Foster and Zach Brown are highly efficient tacklers. In fact, Brown led the league in tackles for most of 2017 before his season ended with a foot injury. 

The healthy part is the trick. 

Last year, Foster separated his shoulder against the Rams in Week 2 and was shut down for the season by October. Brown played through nagging injuries all year before shutting things down in December. 

When both players were on the field, the Redskins defense excelled. In just four starts, Foster made 30 tackles to go with an interception, a fumble recovery and half a sack. Brown logged double-digit tackles in nine games last season, and probably would have more without the foot trouble. 

Foster and Brown are very good in the Redskins scheme, and both players are expected to be fully healthy for the start of training camp. Their injuries from last season are not the type that suggest durability concerns, and both players posted full 16-game seasons in 2016.

Foster and Brown aren't the question. The depth chart after Foster and Brown are the question. 

Zach Vigil, Martrell Spaight, Josh Harvey-Clemons and rookie Shaun Dion Hamilton are competing for two or possibly three roster spots. 

Spaight is the most recognizable name in the group. He's been a good special teams player for Washington, and is well liked in the locker room. By last December, however, Vigil was playing better football. 

More telling for both Vigil and Spaight was that Harvey-Clemons took the starter reps alongside Foster when Brown was absent during OTAs. The second-year man out of Louisville has more physical gifts than either Vigil or Spaight, and now given a full year to learn to play linebacker, Harvey-Clemons could make inroads.

A safety in college, Harvey-Clemons can run. He was a bit of a surprise last season making the 53-man roster out of camp, so expect him to definitely have a shot this year. 

Hamilton will be the wild card. An ultra-talented player out of Alabama, he dealt with a number of injuries in college. Redskins VP Doug Williams talked gushingly about Hamilton after the draft, and if the former 5-Star recruit can stay healthy, he could certainly push for a spot as well. 

Prior to 2017, the Redskins kept four inside linebackers on their final 53 roster. In 2017, the team kept five: Brown, Foster, Spaight, Will Compton and Harvey-Clemons. Compton left via free agency and is now playing in Nashville. 

Foster and Brown are roster locks, and it seems like Harvey-Clemons gets the third nod. 

Spaight, Vigil and Hamilton better be ready for serious competition in Richmond. 

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: What does the future hold?

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: What does the future hold?

In this week's mailbag podcast, JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir answer several questions about the Caps' prospects and Hershey.

How does the future look on the farm? Plus, they talk about potential weaknesses, their biggest surprises and more!

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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