Just 5 years ago, right-hander Edinson Volquez looked like one of the best young pitchers in baseball, when he posted a 17-win season with a 3.21 ERA at just 25 years old. Things have been a bit rougher than most imagined for Volquez over the ensuing time period, but that hasn’t stopped him from reportedly landing on his feet with a new contract on Wednesday afternoon.
Sources: #Pirates, free-agent RHP Edinson Volquez in agreement on one-year, $5M contract, pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2013
Ken Rosenthal of FOX is reporting that Volquez and the Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed on a 1-year, $5 million deal, and that makes sense for both teams. It’s been a busy day for the Pirates, who earlier agreed to a 3-year extension with righty Charlie Morton, but you can never have too much starting pitching, and the Pirates are apparently buying in to that mantra.
Volquez pitched 170.1 innings with the Padres and Dodgers in 2013, but he smacked around pretty good in that time. The 30-year-old “earned” a 5.71 ERA for the year, but his peripherals (4.07 xFIP) suggest he may have been a bit unlucky in amassing that ratio. Control has always been the issue for the right-hander, as Volquez has a career walk rate of 4.75 per 9 innings (yikes), but he tries to make up for that with high-end strikeout potential at a career rate of 8.42 per 9.
$5 million isn’t what it used to be in free agency, and that kind of number on a 1-year deal is essentially a pure flyer from the Pirates in an effort to bottle up Volquez’s significant talents into a more complete package. We’ll see how that goes.