The Rangers announced on Friday that they’ve signed right-hander Edinson Volquez to a minor league contract that contains invitations to Major League Spring Training for both the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Volquez underwent Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career late in the 2017 season and won’t pitch in the 2018 campaign.
The two-year minor league deal, though, will give him a year to acclimate to the Rangers’ medical staff and rehab/training facilities with an eye toward returning to the Majors on their 2019 roster. SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets that Volquez would earn a $2MM salary in 2019 if he makes the roster and has another $4.5MM worth of incentives in the contract’s second season. Volquez is represented by Wasserman.
The signing represents a homecoming for Volquez, who signed his first professional contract with the Rangers as an 18-year-old amateur back in 2001. Now 34 years of age, Volquez will still earn a $13MM salary this season as part of the two-year, $22MM pact he signed with the Marlins last offseason. Miami is still on the hook for the full $13MM after releasing him last year.
After a rough second season in a two-year deal with the Royals (2015-16), Volquez looked to be on his way to rebounding with a solid 2017 effort this past season. His masterful 10-strikeout no-hitter against a potent D-backs lineup was one of the highlights of the Marlins’ season and of his 13-year big league career. Overall, Volquez worked to a 4.19 ERA with 7.9 K/9, 5.2 BB/9, 0.78 HR/9 and a 45.8 percent ground-ball rate in 92 1/3 innings.
Unfortunately for both Volquez and the Marlins, he incurred a knee injury in July that sidelined him into August, and, upon working his way back from that malady, suffered a torn UCL that necessitated the TJ procedure.
It’ll be a long road back to the Majors for Volquez, though by the time Spring Training 2019 rolls around, he’ll be nearly 18 months removed from surgery, so he should be plenty strong at that point. There’s little downside in the deal for Texas, as the only thing they’re guaranteeing him is resources for his rehabilitation as he works back toward a potential return to the big leagues.