With the Minnesota Twins in constant search of possible pitching depth, the San Diego Padres have opened an opportunity for the team to capitalize on what the Padres may believe to be “damaged goods”. On Saturday the Padres announced that they have designated right-hander Edinson Volquez for assignment.
Volquez, if you can remember, came to the Padres as part of five-player trade with Cincinnati in December of 2011 that sent Mat Latos to Cincinnati. For his career, Volquez has posted a 53-50 record with a 4.77 ERA over 149 starts. He also sports a career 1.516 WHIP, 4.9 BB/9 and a 8.4 SO/9. His best season came in 2008 with Cincinnati when he posted a 17-6 record with a 3.21 ERA, 1.327 WHIP, 9.5 SO/9 and was named to the All-Star team, the only appearance of his career. Last year, Volquez posted a respectable 11-11 record with a 4.14 ERA over 32 starts in 182.2 innings. He also struck out an average of 8.6 batters per nine innings, but did walk 5.2 batters over nine innings as well.
This year, Volquez has a 6.01 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 27 starts. Despite his struggles this season, he picked up interest from clubs looking for a boost to the backend of the rotation in a thin trade market. Volquez is set to be a free-agent this winter, but is it possible the Twins could have some interest in bringing Volquez for the rest of the season for an audition?
The answer to that question is simple: only if the price is right. I believe Volquez still has upside at age 30 and although his strikeout totals are down, so are his walk totals; but the bottom line is that I believe Volquez is still better than most options the Twins currently have. His current salary this year is 5.73 million dollars; but if the Twins were to acquire him and keep him for anything less than 4 million dollars, I think it would be a great addition. This is a typical low-risk, high reward type of move and for an organization in position to make these types of moves without any drop-off to their production and record, it’s a move the Twins should strongly consider.
When you have a rotation full of unknowns and veterans on one or two year contracts, why not add a strikeout pitcher who could rediscover himself and net the team a couple of prospects next trading deadline? I can’t see many reasons why not; thus, I am strongly endorsing this possible move.