Arbitration is one of the quirky parts of the business of baseball.
Any player who is arbitration-eligible is all but guaranteed to get a raise, no matter how well he performed the previous year.
Take the case of Royals starting pitcher Luke Hochevar. After struggling through a disappointing 2012 season, he agreed to terms on a one-year contract Friday, avoiding arbitration.
Hochevar, 29, will receive $4.56 million with a chance to make another $100,000 in performance bonuses. Last season, he made $3.51 million.
Not bad for a pitcher who had an 8-16 record with a 5.73 ERA in 32 starts in 2012.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore believes Hochevar will be inspired to perform better this season.
"Luke is a tremendous competitor, and his stuff is very good," Moore said. "He is a very tough self-evaluator and he is motivated to perform well, and he's certainly capable of doing that.
"We look forward to having him competing and helping our team win."
Of course, Hochevar may not have a spot in the rotation this year. The Royals re-signed free agent Jeremy Guthrie during the offseason and traded for James Shields, Wade Davis and Ervin Santana.
Those four seem set for the rotation, so that sets up a battle this spring for the fifth spot among Hochevar, Bruce Chen, Luis Mendoza and Will Smith.
Royals sign Hochevar to one-year deal
Kansas City Star | Jan 19