The Pittsburgh Pirates signed starting pitcher Edinson Volquez to a one-year, $5 million deal on the third day of the 2013 Winter Meetings. There’s no question in my mind that the Pirates made a mistake with the signing.
Adding Volquez to the roster is basically flushing $5 million down the drain. The money could have been spent elsewhere and been far more effective. Volquez has caused nothing but problems for every team he has pitched for in his career. There’s nothing wrong with him on a personal level. Unfortunately, it’s his struggles on the mound that have given countless managers a headache.
Sure, the right-hander has shown signs of potential over the past eight seasons. In fact, there’s a possibility that another change of scenery could do the trick. It happened with Francisco Liriano in Pittsburgh last season, so why can’t Volquez follow the same suit? The difference between the two pitchers is that Liriano knew what it was like to have some success in the big leagues prior to his time with the Pirates. If the organization signed Volquez based on that then they are going to have another thing coming.
Volquez has a career 53-52 record with a 4.75 earned run average and 795 strikeouts in 159 games (154 starts). In 2013, he posted a 9-12 record with a 5.71 ERA and 142 strikeouts in 170 1/3 innings with the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 30-year-old rarely makes appearances out of the bullpen. However, if he falters in the beginning of the season that’s exactly where he will end up.