Dodgers draft pick P Luke Hochevar, currently unsigned, surely would’ve been selected sooner than 40th overall had he not hired Scott Boras as his agent. Tony Jackson of the LA Daily News reports that the Vols ace suddenly has new representation. (link courtesy Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

The strange case of still-unsigned Dodgers top draft pick Luke Hochevar, the reigning College Pitcher of the Year at the University of Tennessee, took another bizarre turn last week.

Hochevar, the 40th overall pick in this year’s draft, didn’t attend a fall semester class before last Friday’s drop/add deadline, keeping negotiating rights with the Dodgers alive. But the Daily News has learned that the following events took place later that same day:

Hochevar fired Los Angeles-based agent Scott Boras as his advisor. At the behest of his roommate, best friend and Tennessee teammate Eli Iorg – an outfielder drafted by Houston with the 38th overall pick – Hochevar agreed to allow Iorg’s San Francisco-based agents, Paul Cobbe and Matt Sosnick, to represent him.

Hochevar, while being advised by Cobbe and Sosnick, agreed to terms on a $2.98 million signing bonus, which would have been the highest ever paid by any club to a non-first-round pick. Before actually signing the deal, Hochevar reneged and went back to Boras. This took place after what Cobbe described as a “heated exchange” over the telephone between Hochevar and someone presumed to be Boras. At the time, Hochevar was at the Tennessee home of Iorg’s father, former major-league outfielder Garth Iorg, and Cobbe said he and Sosnick overheard Hochevar in the background while they talked by telephone to one of the Iorges.

Cobbe, in a telephone interview with the Daily News on Wednesday, confirmed these events, saying the original switch from Boras had been prompted by Hochevar’s frustration with the pace of the negotiations – which had stood still for weeks with the Dodgers offering $2.3 million and Boras demanding $4 million for Hochevar, who clearly would have gone higher in the draft had the hardline-negotiating Boras not been advising him.

In a voicemail message left in response to a message from the Daily News, Boras said nothing had changed in his relationship with Hochevar (pronounced HOATCH-ay-vur), whose surname Boras badly mispronounced in the message.

“There has been no change in my status as his attorney,” Boras said. “I don’t know where these reports are coming from”