If you were wondering who the Pirates' "project" pitcher for 2014 was going to be, wonder no more:
Sources: #Pirates, free-agent RHP Edinson Volquez in agreement on one-year, $5M contract, pending physical.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2013
I'll do some more analysis later, but let's start here: this seems straight-up crazy to me. Volquez made a little more than $5 million with the Padres last year and he was so bad they released him in August. Had they not released him, he would've been arbitration eligible in 2014, which means this is a one-year deal for the Pirates.
Volquez, of course, fits the Pirates' "mold" as well as any other project. He throws hard, his groundball rate usually sits around 50%, and he's usually got a strong strikeout rate, even in his worst years. On the flip side, his control is terrible. Since 2008, his breakout year with the Reds, his walk rate has been 4.9 BB/9 innings, and I feel like mentioning that is just scratching the surface. Really, besides that great year with the Reds in 2008, Volquez has mostly struggled in his career. The talent is there, but this is a real project for Ray Searage and Jim Benedict. The good news, I suppose, is that Benedict is still with the Pirates after interviewing for a couple of other jobs this winter. I'm not saying that it's impossible for them to straighten Volquez out, but I'm not sure I'm all that optimistic at this point.
I agree with what you've said here, but then it's pretty much the exact same thing I said about Liriano last year.
I can't really fathom this signing. Obviously the Pirates don't think Volquez is better than Charlie Morton. Do they think he's better than Jeff Locke and Stolmy Pimentel? If so...how? If not, why are we blowing $5M on someone who we don't even project to make the Opening Day rotation? What makes the Pirates think that Volquez is any better than letting Justin Wilson start? Ugh. Yuck.
@Mornacale the pirates still believe they have all the tools to compete offensively because they continually strive to get pitchers who they tell the fan base are able to be reclamated (Searage the wonder man ) they better guess again .they have one legitimate hitter ,one legitimate power hitter (who after the Cano signing just for a couple more years) defense is ok but the last time I looked you have to hit