Edinson Volquez is back with the organization where he’s professional career began.
The Rangers signed the 34-year old pitcher to a two-year minor league deal on Friday. However, there’s a catch. Volquez is currently in the process of rehabbing after having Tommy John surgery back in August. That means he will likely miss most of the year with the possibility of a return in 2019.
Volquez would earn a $2 million salary if he makes the roster next season and has another $4.5 million worth of incentives for that year on the contract.
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So the question on the table- why sign a pitcher that may not step on the mound in Arlington and contribute in 2018?
One benefit that’s being looked at is how Volquez will now have a year to get familiar with the Rangers medical staff and rehab and training facilities. If he returns to full health and makes the roster next year, the Rangers have a veteran in the rotation with World Series experience.
Taking the mound for the Kansas City Royals in 2015, Volquez pitched Game 1 of the World Series and got a no-decision as the Royals beat the New York Mets 5-4 in 14 innings. Volquez pitched the game unaware that his father had passed away before the game. His wife told the coaching staff not to tell him until after he was done for the night. After learning of the passing of his father, Volquez stepped on the mound at Citi Field in the series-deciding Game 5 and went six strong innings as the Royals won their first World Series title in 30 years.
Volquez will still get $13 million from the Miami Marlins as part of his two-year, $22 million contract he signed last offseason. Basically, Miami is still on the hook after releasing him last year.
The 34-year old was signed by the Rangers as an 18-year old amateur back in 2001 and was part of the “DVD” trio of pitching prospects with John Danks and Thomas Diamond. Volquez was later included in the package sent to the Cincinnati Reds in 2007 that brought Josh Hamilton to Arlington.
Volquez has a 93-87 career record while pitching in seven different organizations. He made the 2008 All-Star Team with the Reds and threw his first career no-hitter last season while with the Marlins.
With this move, The Rangers now have 66 players in camp in Surprise, Arizona. Volquez joins pitchers Chi Chi Gonzalez, Joe Palumbo and Shawn Tolleson as players rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.