The Reds attempted to lock up yet another of their key young talents this offseason, but their proposal was handed back to them. Edinson Volquez told Julio Castro at the Domincan paper El Caribe (link in Spanish) that the team offered him a four-year extension, but he rejected it, preferring to bank on his value increasing over the coming season.
"They were offering me a contract for four years, the same as Johnny Cueto, but I didn't feel it was right for me. I spoke with the lawyer and the general manager, and we all agreed on a single season," Volquez explained while in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic.
Volquez didn't mention the amount of the offer, but Cueto's $27MM deal is an ambitious point of comparison. Cueto has gradually developed into a reliable mid-rotation option for the team, managing at least 30 starts in each of the last three seasons, while Volquez's ultimate $1.6MM contract is reflective of two seasons cut short by elbow surgery and a 50-game PED suspension. After an up-and-down summer, he looked stronger in the final month of last season, pitching deep into games and collecting strikeouts in line with his career rate of 8.7 K/9. These results, and his offseason workouts, have Volquez feeling bullish about 2011.
"Having a good year this season is my mission. Depending on my performance, we'll seek a contract of at least four years with the team," he predicted. "I can't define the amount we're going to seek following the next year, but it's going to be for that quantity of years." And should he have second thoughts, the 27-year-old pitcher (three years older than Cueto) indicated that some manner of offer is still on the table, saying, "Things remain open in case I want to sign during Spring Training or in the middle of the season."