What a world we live in. Edinson Volquez, who was released by the San Diego Padres 16 months ago, and then had a decent bounce-back season in Pittsburgh in 2014, is set to make $20 million over the next two seasons.
The Kansas City Royals have reportedly signed Volquez, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, sticking him in their starting rotation along with Yordano Ventura, Danny Duffy, Jason Vargas and Jeremy Guthrie.
Aside from two possible imports — Chihiro Kaneko and Kenta Maeda — and one possible retiree in Hiroki Kuroda, Volquez was the best starting pitcher available on Jeff Passan's Ultimate Free-Agent tracker.
Volquez, 31, won't be James Shields, that's for sure. He may not even be the 2014 version of himself. With the Pirates, Volquez rebounded from a dreadful 2013 (hello, 5.71 ERA!) and managed a 13-7 record with a 3.04 ERA. He hadn't had an ERA under 4.00 since his rookie season in 2008.
Volquez's FIP, though, was more than a run higher than his ERA, an indication that he's a strong regression candidate. In other words: If Volquez's ERA balloons up past 5.00 like it was in 2011 and 2013, don't say we say we didn't warn you, Kansas City.
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