Pirates Sign Edinson Volquez

FRIDAY: The Pirates have officially announced the signing.

WEDNESDAY: The Pirates have agreed to terms with right-hander Edinson Volquez on a one-year, $5MM contract, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Volquez is represented by the Wasserman Media Group.


Buying low on Volquez continues a trend for the Pirates, who have picked up A.J. Burnett, Francisco Liriano and Mark Melancon via trade or free agency in recent years when each was coming off a poor season. The 30-year-old Volquez was released by the Padres last season after posting a 6.01 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 142 1/3 innings. He looked better in a brief, 28 1/3 inning cameo with the Dodgers, pitching to a 4.18 ERA with a 26-to-8 K/BB ratio.

Volquez's 4.07 xFIP was significantly lower than his 5.71 ERA on the season — a commonality that exists between he, Burnett, Liriano and Melancon at the time of their acquisition by the Pirates.

Volquez will join Liriano, Gerrit Cole, Wandy Rodriguez and the recently extended Charlie Morton in the Pirates' rotation. That seems to fill Burnett's spot in the rotation, suggesting that perhaps he's leaning toward retirement and the Pirates have moved on in favor of a cheaper option with similarly high upside. Back in 2008, Volquez finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting when he posted a 3.21 ERA with 9.5 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 196 innings. Control has always been an issue for Volquez, but his fastball velocity has typically remained strong. After averaging 93.6 mph on his fastball from 2008-12, he averaged 92.5 mph in 2013.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

83 Responses to Pirates Sign Edinson Volquez Leave a Reply

  1. rovert22044 2 years ago

    Good signing. Should be a solid addition of their pitching staff this next season.

    • talcha32 2 years ago

      Have you actually seen him pitch?

      • ColoredPaper 2 years ago

        Yeah. He’s got control issues and injury issues, but look how they helped out pitchers like Liriano.

    • Justin Timberpond 2 years ago

      The classic Astro mentality

  2. padresinthebay 2 years ago

    i wish I could get paid 5million to be the worst at my job

  3. randytherobot 2 years ago

    5 million for someone who barely even knows how to pitch? Wut

  4. JS 2 years ago

    Another good pickup, should pan out maybe mid-season trade if a team needs a sp

  5. vtadave 2 years ago

    In other news, Wasserman Media Group is reporting that their phone system has exploded due to the hundreds of calls from other players looking to sign with their agency.

    • Pello 2 years ago

      Good, they don’t have to deal with David Ortiz anymore

  6. $5M? That’s over 60% what Josh Johnson got.

    • oldoak33 2 years ago

      Volquez had a better 2013 than Johnson.

      • Hannibal8us 2 years ago

        No he didn’t, and Josh pitched in the AL East so his numbers are inflated beyond belief.

        • monkeyking42 2 years ago

          The AL East is probably still the best division in baseball, but “inflated beyond belief” is a huge stretch.

      • dlacsa 2 years ago

        Volquez pitched at Petco for the majority of 2013…

  7. GoldenBoy 2 years ago

    This is shocking news. My thoughts and prayers go out to all Pirates fans.

  8. Paulie Corleone 2 years ago

    led the league in walks in 2012, led the league in earned runs allowed in 2013

    apparently that gets you $5m

  9. Joe Orsatti 2 years ago

    $5,000,000!!! What happened to being thrifty Pitt. Volquez is a Non-Roster invite or possibly a $2,500,000 player AT BEST

    • marinest21 2 years ago

      Seriously. I do not understand how $5 million is buying low on Volquez. The guy’s command appears to have gone out the window. Maybe the Buccos know something we don’t. The Liriano reclamation project was impressive.

      • bandits33 2 years ago

        Maybe they have some of Greg Maddux’s DNA to try and splice with him.

  10. harperhill 2 years ago

    I think I’d rather have Locke as the 5th starter…

    • TL 2 years ago

      I wouldn’t go that far as I don’t think Locke belongs in the rotation (I’d give Cumpton a shot over gim). But I’d have preferred to spend some pitching money on a more reliable back of the rotation guy such as Gavin Floyd.

      • vtadave 2 years ago

        Floyd had Tommy John surgery in May, so not sure how reliable he’d be this year.

        • TL 2 years ago

          Whoops, my bad

          • Hannibal8us 2 years ago

            Don’t admit a mistake, you were just illustrating how much you’d prefer an injured Gavin Floyd to Volquez. lol

      • letsgogiants 2 years ago

        Just wondering, what happened to Locke in the 2nd half? Would you say his first half last season was a fluke?

        • xHoratiox 2 years ago

          Dude lost his command, and his luck started to run out. When this guy hits the inside corner and just off the outside with his FB he can be impressive. He was only able to do this in the first half though, and he DID have some luck. Very low .BABIP against, but if he gets his command down he could be better than many think…

  11. KJ4realz 2 years ago

    Liriano attempt#2?

  12. Eddie Edwards 2 years ago

    Well I knew I’d be disappointed when the Pirates eventually signed or traded for somebody

  13. Hanley 2 years ago

    Pirates are not good

  14. alexamato 2 years ago

    not a terrible signing, but why not Locke or Karstens?

    • TL 2 years ago

      Because neither has shown the consistency to be relied upon fort he full season. But then again, neither has Volquez.

    • GoldenBoy 2 years ago

      This is a terrible signing. As a Padres fan, I can easily say that Volquez will frustrate the hell out of you. He’ll pitch brilliantly for 3 or 4 innings, and then the wheels will immediately fall off. Happens practically every outing with Edison, especially the past year. He’s an oddly entertaining player, but I wouldn’t wish any team to have him on the mound, even if he was pitching for free. He’s that frustrating.

      • Curt Green 2 years ago

        You just described Liriano as a Twin.

      • Alderson Smith 2 years ago

        “Edison?” At least, you could spell his name right. It’s Edinson.

      • Luke Wise 2 years ago

        He did that as a Red too. That last year he was especially bad in the opening innings.

  15. Erin Leaver 2 years ago

    It’s one year. It’s not a very risky signing really.

  16. Devern Hansack 2 years ago

    I fully expect to command $5 MM this year.

  17. Daniel 2 years ago

    Padres rotation just got better !! Thanks PIT !!

  18. Sam 2 years ago

    Interesting sign, big shoes to fill in taking AJ Burnetts rotation spot. I wasn’t surprised by Burnett and Liriano’s resurgence in p-burgh but I will be surprised if Volquez turns it around. 5 mil in this market is peanuts if he can actually be a league average starter so it’s not a big commitment. How far away is Jameson Taillion?

    • Paulie Corleone 2 years ago

      Taillon looks to be on the same path that Cole took last year, provided he stays consistent the first few months in AAA

      • Sam 2 years ago

        Ok we’ll then Volquez is just keeping his spot warm for him at a cost of 5 mil.

        • Paulie Corleone 2 years ago

          Pirates have Cole, Liriano, Morton and Wandy Rodriguez, it’s no guarantee that Volquez nails down that 5th spot with Locke, Pimentel and company nipping at his heels… I wish it wasn’t $5m but oh well

  19. Flowseidon 2 years ago

    Did the Pirates lose their BP pitcher? If so, Edi is a good fit.

    • bucsws2014 2 years ago

      The plan apparently is to have Edinson hit Votto repeatedly.

  20. Luke Wise 2 years ago

    As a Red’s fan I like him in the NL central.

  21. Smrtbusnisman04 2 years ago

    Time to work your magic, Ray Searage!

    This makes me believe that the Pirates are moving on from AJ Burnett. That still doesn’t’ t make me feel better about Edinson Volquez pitching for the Buccos.

    I still would like the Pirates to get another first basemen.

  22. rizdak 2 years ago

    I’m guessing they’ll teach him the split-finger like the rest of their rotation, and use all their infield shifts to help him out. It could be interesting.

    $5MM for a guy DFA’ed by the Padres (the PADRES) still feels like a gamble though.

    • Lee Foo Young 2 years ago

      I am a Pirates’ fan and am unaware of any of them that throw the split finger.

  23. Mike Adamson 2 years ago

    The step backwards continues for the Pirates…

  24. Guest 2 years ago

    Ok… I don’t get this at all, the difference between Volquez and the trio of A.J Burnett, Frankie, and Melancon is that the trio disappointed in the AL before coming to the NL and having success. I mean I hope all Volquez needed was a change of scenery but 5MM seems like a ton for a guy who led the NL in Earned Runs.

    • monkeyking42 2 years ago

      You say that as if the difference between them being poor and good was the league switch. That’s nonsense. Liriano had two years of being very good in the AL to go along with his crummy years. Melancon was partly hurt and got hammered by an unreal HR/FB ratio. Burnett pitched well for the Jays before falling victim to Yankee Stadium and a case of the yips (look at his HBP and WP numbers those years).

      The much more important similarity was that those were three guys with great stuff but poor results who had underperformed their peripheral stats.

  25. Luke Castor 2 years ago

    Good luck with him. He’s still got a live arm, but the guy couldn’t find the strike zone with a GPS and a team of Sherpas.

  26. onemanrevival 2 years ago

    Did someone pass the crack pipe to Huntington? Volquez, for real? He’ll be lucky to make the roster out of Spring Training.

    • Skeeb Wilcox 2 years ago

      No, onemanrevival, the sad thing is, knowing the Pirates, he WILL make the roster out of Spring Training…no matter how he pitches.

  27. onemanrevival 2 years ago

    Did someone pass the crack pipe to Huntington? Volquez, for real? He’ll be lucky to make the roster out of Spring Training.

  28. TheSharkTankisNasty 2 years ago

    Funny. I saw comments like these when we traded for Burnett, when signed Liriano, and when we traded for Melancon. Searage will fix him up.

    • Joe 2 years ago

      3 teams thought they could fix Ed, they failed but good luck!!

    • Mike Adamson 2 years ago

      When the Pirates signed those guys they missed the playoffs for 20 years and that’s when you take a shot at players like this. Not after you make the playoffs and are looking to take a step forward!!!

    • bucsws2014 2 years ago

      Burnett, Liriano and Melancon all had considerably better numbers than Jonathan Sanchez, whom Searage could not fix. And Sanchez has better peripherals than Volquez as well as a higher career WAR in fewer IP/seasons, so that should tell you just how bad Volquez is. If Searage can make Volquez into a capable starter, he should immediately replace Corbett as Governor.

    • Leonard Washington 2 years ago

      Dave Duncan couldn’t fix this guy. He is terrible. He is coming off a bad year pitching for the Padres….THE PADRES….where bad pitchers go to look better…and it still didn’t help. He is done. Burnett wasn’t fixed, he moved to the NL and stayed healthy. He had a long track record of success before NY his only problem was something I am officially coining the “Javier Vasquez effect” AKA can’t hack it in NY syndrome . As for Melancon he had some bad luck in the AL East and returned to the NL where he had done well prior so no fixing there either. Liriano………..maybe.

  29. GrilledCheese39 2 years ago

    It’s ok. If he isn’t good, we can dump him and call up Tallion. On to 1B. James Loney.

  30. GrilledCheese39 2 years ago

    It’s ok. If he isn’t good, we can dump him and call up Tallion. On to 1B. James Loney.

  31. GrilledCheese39 2 years ago

    imo I think he will succeed.

  32. Jack Conness 2 years ago

    I see a lot of people don’t like this deal but I think it is a pretty good signing for Pittsbugh. They were able to get Liriano back on track and if they can fix Volquez, he could POSSIBLY be a stud once again. No guarantees of course. But I like the gamble on him.

    • Mike Adamson 2 years ago

      The Pirates don’t even believe this is going to work. Why else would it be a 1 year deal? With Lirianio it was a 2 year deal. They are scared to commit another year to Volquez. It’s just a disappointing offseason coming off the year we had and how we filled PNC up.

      • Jack Conness 2 years ago

        Every team gives risky players one year deals. Look around the league. It is a smart move. Why give him (or many other risky players) more than one year?

  33. Lee Foo Young 2 years ago

    I am hoping that, if he has a good spring, we can move him for something good.


  34. connfyoozed . 2 years ago

    Am I wild about this signing? No… but if any GM earned the right last season of gaining the benefit for a signing like this one, it’s Neil Huntington.

  35. Skeeb Wilcox 2 years ago

    So this logic puts Johann Santana at, what, $30 for 2?

    • bucsws2014 2 years ago

      Considering Johan compiles a higher WAR when NOT pitching than Volquez does when pitching, I’d say you’re close.

  36. Bluejays31 2 years ago

    This guy has big upside. He throws hard and has good stuff but he is very wild. Not a bad signing but 5MM seems too much

  37. Bluejays31 2 years ago

    This guy has big upside. He throws hard and has good stuff but he is very wild. Not a bad signing but 5MM seems too much

  38. Michael 2 years ago

    This isnt anything new that the Pirates have done since the last 4+ years. You have Liriano, Kevin Correia,Evan Meeks, etc. The pirates like guys who have shown dominance especially ones who have high strike out numbers.

  39. Leonard Washington 2 years ago

    Not a fan. Going to the Pirates can’t save him.

  40. RobbyH619 2 years ago

    Why do people think if Edinson Volquez has an era over 5 while pitching in petco and working with one of the better pitching coaches in Darren Balsley that he will suddenly be better away from petco where his era was closer to 6?

  41. jaybuck 2 years ago

    I love how the Pirates and their fans were so against the Cardinals for signing Peralta because of the alleged PED use, and then they go out and get themselves another PED guy. At least Peralta didn’t have a positive test unlike Volquez. To Pirate fans he is a buy low, or low risk high reward type of guy lol. I guess we see the Cardinal and Mo way can be whatever they want it to be, and all the other teams will just follow it no matter what their beliefs are.

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