Edinson Volquez has landed a royal deal…
The 31-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher has finalized a $20 million, two-year contract with the Kansas City Royals.
Volquez’s deal includes a mutual option for the 2017 season and was announced this week during a brief news conference at Kauffman Stadium.
The right-handed Volquez, coming off one of the best seasons of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, will make $7.5 million this season and $9.5 million next season. The option year would be worth $10 million and carries with it a $3 million buyout.
“I want to be here and help the team win some games, the way they did last year,” Volquez told reporters. “We did in Pittsburgh, too, but Kansas City went a little bit farther. They almost won the World Series. Why not do it here?”
The Royals have already signed designated hitter Kendrys Morales and outfielder Alex Rios to fill two of their most pressing needs. They also signed pitcher Kris Medlen, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and could help contribute midway through the season.
Volquez fills the last big hole by taking James Shields‘ place in the rotation. Shields became a free agent and it was unlikely the Royals would be able to keep him.
“We know full-well we’ll have to continue to make adjustments on our roster. It’s not a push-button club, it never was,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said recently. “But right now we feel like we’re in a good position to start spring training and to start the season.”
Volquez was an All-Star for the Cincinnati Reds in 2008, going 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA. But he struggled with injuries and inconsistency the next few seasons, and started bouncing around the league.
He spent 2012 and part of the 2013 season with the San Diego Padres, finished up that season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and then joined Pittsburgh last season, where he seemed to resurrect his career.
Volquez went 13-7 with a career-best 3.04 ERA, and his 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio was among the best of his career. Volquez also ended the season with a career-best 18 straight scoreless innings, and had a 1.08 ERA in September.
Volquez was 9-1 with a 1.85 ERA after June 23, spanning his final 17 starts.
Volquez should slot into a starting rotation that includes young fireballer Yordano Ventura, left-handers Danny Duffy and Jason Vargas and veteran right-hander Jeremy Guthrie.