Royals decline option on Hochevar, making him free agent

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Royals have declined their $7 million option on Luke Hochevar, the right-hander whose season was cut short by surgery in August to relieve numbness caused by thoracic outlet syndrome.

Hochevar received a $500,000 buyout Saturday. He is eligible to sign anywhere beginning Tuesday.

The 33-year-old Hochevar missed the 2014 season after Tommy John surgery, but was instrumental in their World Series victory the following year. He was 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 40 appearances this season.

Hochevar is expected to be ready to pitch by spring training, and it's possible the Royals will try to sign him for a lower amount. He was their No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 amateur draft.