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KC hasn't closed book on Hochevar, Volquez

MLB.com Reporter @FlannyMLB

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Not so fast on the Royals parting ways with free-agent right-handers Luke Hochevar and Edinson Volquez.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore said at the General Managers Meetings on Tuesday that he hasn't closed the book on either pitcher.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Not so fast on the Royals parting ways with free-agent right-handers Luke Hochevar and Edinson Volquez.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore said at the General Managers Meetings on Tuesday that he hasn't closed the book on either pitcher.

Hochevar, the first overall Draft pick by the Royals in 2006, became a valuable part of Kansas City's bullpen beginning in 2013. A converted starter, the 33-year-old went 5-2 with a 1.92 ERA that year.

Hochevar needed Tommy John surgery prior to the 2014 season, but he bounced back in '15 with a 3.73 ERA. This past season, he posted a 3.86 ERA in the bullpen.

Complicating matters, though, is that Hochever's season was cut short when it was revealed he needed thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in August. The righty is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

The Royals still have interest in re-signing Hochevar.

"Yeah, we do," Moore said. "Hoch's rehab, from all indications, is going fine. But it is a tricky procedure. Outcomes are a little unpredictable. We'll just have to wait and see."

Moore acknowledged that it's possible whoever signs Hochevar will have to do so with a leap of faith regarding his complete recovery.

The Royals last week declined their end of a $7 million mutual option with Hochevar and instead chose the $500,000 buyout.

Volquez, 33, rejected a $10 million mutual option with the Royals and will receive a $3 million buyout. He is coming off a disappointing season, going 10-11 with a 5.37 ERA.

Video: KC@CLE: Volquez tosses 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball

But Volquez was terrific in 2015 for the Royals, going 13-9 with a 3.55 ERA. He also posted a 3.00 ERA in two World Series starts that season, and he started Game 5, the clincher for the Royals, despite learning of his father's death just a few days earlier.

"We'll see," Moore said of a Volquez return. "The offseason takes a lot of twists and turns. It's very fluid. I never like to close the book on players that we feel can still contribute at the Major League level. In our market, we have to be open to any player who is Major League caliber.

"That's why you continue to evaluate is who is available. One day, it can appear that something is not an option, and the next day, it can be an important addition to your team."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Luke Hochevar, Edinson Volquez