The Rangers are in talks with veteran right-hander Edinson Volquez about a minor league contract, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com (via Twitter). If a deal is reached, Volquez would head to Spring Training in hopes of winning a spot in the team’s bullpen.
It wasn’t long ago that an elbow injury prompted Volquez to strongly consider retirement. As recently as late July, Volquez had said he merely hoped to be able to return to a big league mound in September to go out on his own terms rather than be forced into retirement by injury. However, as the veteran righty progressed through his rehab and began to feel healthier, he expressed interest in returning to the Rangers for the 2020 season, and it seems the two sides are now working to make that reunion happen.
To his credit, Volquez, who feared early in the season that he might require another Tommy John surgery, did make it back to the mound in September. The 36-year-old was tagged for six runs in 8 1/3 innings, though seven of his nine outings were scoreless and four of the runs he yielded came in one appearance. Upon returning to the hill, his fastball averaged a hearty 95.4 mph.
Volquez, who has pitched in parts of 14 Major League seasons, was originally signed by the Texas organization as an international amateur back in October 2001. He was they key piece that went from Texas to Cincinnati in the 2007 Josh Hamilton trade and found himself in another notable swap when the Reds included him (along with Yasmani Grandal, Yonder Alonso and Brad Boxberger) in the deal that netted righty Mat Latos from the Padres. Volquez was a key member of the Royals’ rotation when they won the World Series in 2015 and owns a lifetime 4.45 ERA with 7.7 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, 0.93 HR/9 and a 48.4 percent ground-ball rate in 1540 2/3 Major League innings.