It’s the move Marlins’ fans have been waiting for. As MLB’s winter meetings are on the horizon and other teams getting a jump start on signing free agents and making trades to bolster rosters, the Marlins signed Edinson Volquez to a two-year, $22 million contract. The right-hander will give Miami at least one arm to help replace the void left by Jose Fernandez.
Per MLB.com, the deal will finalize once Volquez passes a physical.
MLB.com is also reporting the Miami Herald first broke this story.
Locking up Volquez, 33, sends a signal that the Marlins plan to compete for a playoff spot in 2017. In the aftermath of Fernandez's death in a boating accident on Sept. 25, there had been speculation Miami could possibly take steps toward breaking up its core and rebuilding. The Marlins’ brass hasn’t been secretive about the fact it has come to free agency this offseason with the intention of signing pitchers to help the rotation and the bullpen. Evidently, this is the first step toward repair that could pay off handsomely.
“The Marlins recognize no one player can replace Fernandez, a two-time All-Star, but they plan on acquiring as much overall starting depth as possible,” wrote Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. “Volquez has a track record for logging innings, having thrown at least 170 1/3 innings in each of his past five seasons.”
The native of the Dominican Republic spent the past two seasons with the Royals, where he was part of their '15 World Series championship team. In '16, he was 10-11 with a 5.37 ERA in 34 starts and 189 1/3 innings.
Volquez was signed as an amateur free agent by the Texas Rangers in the Dominican Republic in 2001. Together with John Danks and Thomas Diamond, Volquez was one third of the "DVD" trio of Rangers pitching prospects.
After spending four years in the Rangers' minor league system, Volquez made his Major League debut on August 30, 2005 in a start against the Chicago White Sox. He lost all three Major League games he started that season, as well as one of the three games in which he appeared as a reliever, and posted a 14.21 ERA. He spent the first five months of the 2006 season at Triple-A Oklahoma until he was recalled to the majors in September. This time, he fared better, winning one of his eight starts and posting a 7.29 ERA.
During his career, he has also pitched for the Cincinnati Reds (2008–2011), San Diego Padres (2012–2013), Los Angeles Dodgers (2013) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2014) before signing with the Royals.