Thursday, February 2, 2017


Spring Training is less than two weeks away!

Photo: USA Today
I have severe baseball withdrawals at this point and I really need some excitement. It has been a month and a half since the Yankees made any significant moves and there are still some holes to fill. It makes you wonder if the Yankees will make any moves before camp starts, or is this the team that the Yankees roll with?

The Yankees finally have a good DH option with Matt Holliday and a proven closer with Aroldis Chapman but the Yankees still need that middle relief help. We've talked about guys like Joe Blanton and Craig Breslow recently but there is still another middle reliever out there looking for a job but he comes with some serious risk.

Remember Luke Hochevar? The Kansas City Royals decided not to pick up his option during the off season with good reason. At 33 years old, Hochevar is a big injury concern after having two significant surgeries in the last four years. In August he had surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) which affects the compression of nerves from the neck, chest and shoulders. Many pitchers have dealt with this before, including former Yankee Phil Hughes and Chris Young. Others however, like Chris Carpenter did not fare as well and his TOS contributed to the end of his career.

He should be ready for spring training but he has also had other major surgeries like Tommy John that cost him all of 2014 and part of 2015. Hochevar had a breakout season back in 2013 but his post Tommy John numbers are not nearly as impressive. A pitcher that is two major surgeries past his best season would definitely scare most teams off and explains why he is still on the market.

Post major surgeries Hochevar's stuff is definitely not what it used to be. When he was a starter he had five good pitches but as the years have gone on he now relies on his fastball, cutter and a knuckle grip curve ball. He still has success with the curve ball but those fastballs could be trouble at Yankee stadium.

There are no recent rumors connecting Hochevar with the Yankees, but you have to wonder if the Yankees would be willing to give a heavily (VERY heavily) incentive laden one year deal to add some middle relief help. The Yankees are supposedly done and have no more money to spend this season but if the Yankees could get him for a cheap $2-3 million contract it would add some depth and not hurt the Yankees long term payroll plans.

There is a lot of risk to signing Hochevar but is there enough upside? Or, would there be less risk to just go with what the Yankees already have?

 --Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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