Edinson Volquez Rumors
MONDAY: It's a $1.625MM deal that includes some performance bonuses, according to the AP (via the Dayton Daily News).
While no financial terms have been released yet, ESPN's Enrique Rojas reported that a deal would likely be in the $1.6MM range yesterday when we learned the two sides were nearing a deal.
Volquez, 26, returned from Tommy John surgery last season to throw 62 2/3 quality innings. The right-hander, who was acquired by Texas in exchange for Josh Hamilton in 2007, posted a 4.34 ERA while striking out 67 hitters. He featured his typical shaky command (5.0 BB/9 in 2010, 4.7 for his career), but he showed no loss of velocity, as his 93.6mph average was the same as his career mark.
As MLBTR's Arb Tracker shows, Volquez was the club's last remaining arbitration case.
4:31pm: The two sides are close to a one-year contract worth around $1.6MM, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (via Twitter)
It has seemed likely that the Reds and Volquez would avert an arbitration hearing all along, but the question has persisted whether they'd agree on a one- or multi-year deal. Volquez apparently preferred a one-year deal, blogs Fay.
Volquez, though, is coming off consecutive truncated seasons on account of Tommy John surgery and a 50-game suspension for using PEDs.
A few notes from the Queen City...
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer has the breakdown of Johnny Cueto's new contract. The right-hander will earn $3.4MM in 2011, $5.4MM in 2012, $7.4MM in 2013, and $10MM in 2014. A $10MM club option for 2015 can be bought out for $800K.
- GM Walt Jocketty told Fay that the team and Edinson Volquez are still talking about a multi-year contract extension, and that he's confident they'll get at least a one-year deal done before an arbitration hearing (Twitter link). We first heard that the two sides were talking about a deal late last week.
The Reds have locked up Bronson Arroyo, Jay Bruce, Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto this offseason, but they may not be done yet. They are discussing the possibility of extending Edinson Volquez, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“We’re looking at both — one-year and multi-year,” GM Walt Jocketty told Fay. “We’re hopeful that we’ll get something done.”
Volquez, 27, posted a 4.31 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9 in 62 2/3 innings last year. He has made just 21 starts since his breakout 2008 season because he underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2009.
Volquez filed at $2MM and the Reds countered with a $1.3MM proposal earlier in the week. The right-hander is the team's lone remaining unsigned arbitration eligible player. Volquez is arbitration eligible for the first time and on track to hit free agency after the 2013 season if the Reds don't extend him.
Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. Let's keep track of those figures here, with the latest updates on top. You can track all of the players that avoided arbitration today here.
- MLB.com's Jane Lee tweets that Craig Breslow filed for $1.55MM, but the Athletics countered with $1.15MM.
- Zachary Levine of The Houston Chronicle has some figures for the Astros. Wandy Rodriguez filed for $10.25MM, Hunter Pence for $6.9MM. The team countered with $8MM and $5.15MM, respectively.
- Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star tweets that Billy Butler filed for $4.3MM while the Royals countered with $3.4MM.
- Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle tweets that Javier Lopez filed for $2.875MM and Andres Torres for $2.6MM (Twitter link). The Giants countered with $2MM and $1.8MM, respectively.
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Johnny Cueto filed for $3.9MM, but the Reds countered with $3MM. He adds that Edinson Volquez filed for $2MM, the team $1.3MM.
- Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times tweets Jered Weaver filed for $8.8MM, but the Angels countered with $7.365MM. He adds that Mike Napoli filed for $6.1MM, the team for $5.3MM.
- Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinal has the figures for some prominent Brewers (Twitter link). Rickie Weeks filed for $7.2MM, Shaun Marcum for $5MM, and Kameron Loe for $1.65MM. The team countered with $4.85MM, $3MM, and $1.055MM, respectively.
- MLB.com's Ken Gurnick tweets that James Loney filed for $5.25MM, and the Dodgers for $4.7MM.
- Gurnick adds that Hong-Chih Kuo filed for $3.075MM, the Dodgers countered with $2.55MM (on Twitter).
- Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun has the skinny on two of the Orioles' key players (Twitter link). Luke Scott filed for $6.85MM and Jeremy Guthrie for $6.5MM. The team countered with $5.7MM and $5MM, respectively.
- Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune reports that Delmon Young filed for $6.25MM, the Twins $4.65MM (on Twitter).
- Christensen also reports that Francisco Liriano filed for $5MM and the Twins $3.6MM (on Twitter).
- Christensen adds that Kevin Slowey filed for $3.1MM, the Twins $2.3MM (on Twitter).
- Adam Rubin of ESPN New York tweets that R.A. Dickey filed for $4.7MM, the Mets $3.35MM.
- Andy McCullough of The Star Ledger reports that Angel Pagan filed for $4.2MM, and the Mets for a little over $3.06MM (on Twitter).
- SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that Josh Hamilton filed for $12MM, the Rangers $8.7MM.
- Anthony Andro of The Star Telgram reports that Darren O'Day filed for $1.4MM and the Rangers for $1.05MM (Twitter links).
- Frank Francisco filed for $4.875MM, the Rangers $3.5MM according to Andro.
- Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press tweets that Jose Bautista filed for $10.5MM, the Blue Jays $7.6MM. Michael Vlessides nailed both figures when he spoke to MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith back in October.
- MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm tweets that Jason Frasor filed for $3.725MM, the Blue Jays $3.25MM.
On this day 15 years ago, Blue Jays skipper John Farrell signed with Mariners as a free agent. Let's take a look at today's links..
- Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com applauds Athletics GM Billy Beane for upgrading the club's bullpen this winter.
- Leo Nunez's $3.65MM 2011 salary is the most ever for a Marlins reliever under owner Jeffrey Loria, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel. The previous watermark was Armando Benitez's 2004 salary of $3.5MM.
- The Rangers are looking to fill their final roster spot, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg also says that the club plans on extending the contract of GM Jon Daniels this winter.
- The Pirates have made a run at Carl Pavano, but the hurler prefers the Twins as they are a contending team where he can be the ace, writes Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that he is working to sign arbitration eligible players Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto and Bill Bray before the Tuesday deadline.
- The Cardinals have to get a deal done with Albert Pujols, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
A few more links, on the night of Johnny Damon's 2,500th career hit....
- Shaun Marcum would like to remain a Blue Jay, but says if he gets traded, "hopefully it's [to] someone that's obviously going to be in the playoffs." MLB.com's James Hall has the full story.
- With Edinson Volquez set to rejoin Cincinnati soon, Brandon Phillips tells CBS Sports' Danny Knobler that he doesn't think the Reds need to trade for a pitcher.
- Marlins' players are battling to stay in the playoff hunt, in hopes of convincing the front office not to break up the team, writes the Palm Beach Post's Joe Capozzi. Florida's brass should decide soon whether or not they'll become sellers.
- The Indians signed a pitcher whose pre-draft arm surgery dropped him from a potential top-50 pick to the seventh round, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- The Padres released former third overall pick Eric Munson, tweets MLB.com's Corey Brock.
- Frank Wren is biding his time when it comes to making trades, writes Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Wren reiterated what we heard a couple weeks ago: the Braves likely won't need to acquire any pitching.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link) hears that the White Sox aren't currently "heavily involved" in trade talk, but concedes that with Chicago, that could change at any moment.
- The Orioles are scouting the Phillies tonight, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter). Gelb notes that Ty Wigginton, Miguel Tejada, and Jeremy Guthrie could all be potential targets for the Phils.
- AOL FanHouse's Frankie Piliere lists ten baseball people that ought to be considered for future general manager openings.
It is a useful exercise to take a look back at trades that were made, to help evaluate exactly how they are going for both teams. With the news of Edinson Volquez receiving a 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, now seems like a good time to evaluate the deal that sent Volquez and Danny Herrera from Texas to Cincinnati in exchange for Josh Hamilton.
As Tim pointed out earlier this afternoon, the suspension itself does very little to impact Volquez's value to the Reds. His 50-game suspension begins tomorrow, with Volquez on the DL. He had Tommy John Surgery on August 3, 2009, so even the most optimistic projections wouldn't have had him back before the 50 games is up.
As to who is ahead in this deal, it is hard to say. Both Hamilton and Volquez have had one fantastic season with their post-trade teams. Hamilton posted a .304/.371/.530 line with Texas in 2008 during his age-27 season. Volquez, during that same season, put up a 17-6, 3.21 ERA line in his age-24 season.
By Baseball Prospectus' Wins Above Replacement Player, Volquez was worth 5.3 WARP in 2008, Hamilton checking in at 5.5. As per Fangraphs.com's WAR, Volquez was slightly ahead, 4.3 to 4.1. Both had injury-marred 2009 seasons, and have posted roughly equivalent value for their two teams so far.
Moving forward, Hamilton is off to a rough start in 2010, at .222/.333/.390 through his first 48 plate appearances. Volquez, of course, won't be able to help Cincinnati until later this season if at all.
With his litany of injuries, it is hard to count on Hamilton to recapture his 2007 form. Volquez is coming back from Tommy John surgery, a fairly common occurrence. Volquez is also significantly younger; Hamilton turns 29 on May 21, Volquez turns just 27 on July 3. However, projecting pitchers is almost always harder than projecting hitters.
This challenge trade seems too close to call right now, but Volquez seems likelier to regain elite player status. More money, however, is due to Hamilton. He earns $3.25MM in 2010, as he was arbitration-eligible this past offseason, while Volquez makes just $445K (and the Reds won't need to pay him for the next 50 games, or roughly a third of that salary).
In the meantime? Danny Herrera keeps on keeping on, following a 3.06 ERA in 61 2/3 innings in 2009 with a strong start in 2010. Just 25, Herrera may be the difference-maker in this deal after all.
Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez has been suspended 50 games for using PEDs, reports SI's Jon Heyman. Volquez is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery; he had the procedure on August 3rd of last year. Even with the 50 games off, Volquez will be able to serve the suspension while on the DL - it begins tomorrow. His service time will not be affected, and he'll still be arbitration-eligible after the season.
Volquez released a statement on the matter, saying he received medication in the Dominican Republic prescribed to help with fertility.
To put it mildly, this has been a rough year for Reds fans. Edinson Volquez had the Cincinnati faithful buzzing after posting a 3.21 ERA with 9.5 K/9 in his first full season in 2008. After logging just nine starts in the 2009 campaign, Volquez needed surgery to repair damage in his right elbow. The Reds faded fast as their depleted staff wasn't getting much of a lift from their sagging offense. Injuries to Joey Votto and Edwin Encarnacion (prior to being dealt to Toronto) certainly didn't do them any favors.
However, if the team's recent performance is any indication of what lies ahead, Reds fans might have something to cheer about in 2010. Dusty Baker's squad has gone 19-11 since September 1st, thanks in part to stronger pitching (3.39 team ERA) and the return of Jay Bruce, who missed two months with a broken wrist.
Buster Olney, Baseball Prospectus and the ESPN Insider staff compiled a glance at this past season and what to expect next year in Cincy. An ESPN Insider account is needed to read the article, but here are the brass tacks for those without:
- It's no secret that the Reds don't have a top-flight budget. They opened this season with a payroll of $73MM and owner Bob Castellini isn't going to "go all Steinbrenner" and tack-on much more.
- Further exacerbating their financial woes are their pricey commitments to Bronson Arroyo, Francisco Cordero, Aaron Harang and Scott Rolen. Combined, these four players are owed $46.5 million next season.
- Olney says that considering their lack of flexibility this offseason, Homer Bailey might be their best chance for improvement as he recorded a 2.41 ERA in September. The velocity that made Bailey such a highly-coveted prospect has returned, with his fastball being clocked at an average of 94.5 MPH this year. This is a big step-up from his previous big league work and could spell an even bigger jump in 2010.
- Baseball Prospectus says that their "acceptable" rate of 4.5 runs allowed per game is due in part to their much-improved defense. It will be interesting to see if defensive-minded yet weak-hitting shortstop Paul Janish will be the Reds' starter next season. Manager Dusty Baker said on Friday that a "definitive decision" hasn't been made yet.
- Jay Jaffe of Baseball Prospectus notes that the combined efforts of all Reds batting in the top two lineup spots resulted in a slash line of .245/.301/.354. When Willy Taveras hit the DL in August, Dusty Baker put rookie Drew Stubbs and the aforementioned Janish at the top of the order. The team has gone 27-15 since then, but Jaffe attributes most of the credit for that to the improved performance of the pitching staff.
- The "Rumor Central" portion of the piece encourages Reds fans that are anxious to see the team acquire a big bat to consider what the offense is capable of if they are healthy. Injury-free seasons from Bruce and Votto should give Cincinnati a major boost.
- The report says to expect the Reds to tender Jonny Gomes an offer as he is arbitration-eligible. This should come as no surprise as Gomes has belted 20 HRs in 311 plate appearances while posting .266/.338/.540.
- Jaffe says that Jocketty could deal Arroyo or Harang to give the team room to make a mid-level signing this winter. He adds, "...It's difficult to envision this team breaking out of the middle of the pack without keen vision and bold steps."