According to multiple reports Wednesday, the Dodgers are on the verge of signing right-handed pitcher Edinson Volquez to a major-league contract. Volquez was placed on release waivers earlier Wednesday by the San Diego Padres.
The 30-year-old was 9-10 with a 6.01 earned-run average in 27 starts for the Padres this season. Since his standout rookie season in 2008 – Volquez went 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA for the Cincinnati Reds – he’s just 33-33 with a 4.98 ERA over five seasons.According to FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Padres would pay all but the pro-rated minimum salary (about $88,000) of Volquez’s $5.725 million contract that expires at the end of the season.
Volquez has struggled with control recently. His 4.4 walks-per-nine-innings ratio is significantly higher than any of the Dodgers’ top four starters, but is his lowest in a season since 2008.
While finding more of the strike zone, Volquez has watched his hits-per-nine-innings ratio rise to 10.6, the highest of his career. He’s the only San Diego pitcher to make 20 starts in a season and post an ERA above 6.00 since pitcher-friendly Petco Park opened in 2004.
Still, the Dodgers could be eyeing Volquez as a possible fifth starter to replace Chris Capuano. The veteran left-hander is 4-7 with a 4.74 ERA, including 1-1 with a 5.26 ERA in five August starts. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Tuesday that Capuano wasn’t in danger of being replaced by any pitcher currently in the organization.
It’s a low-risk move for the Dodgers, who might choose to option right-handed reliever Chris Withrow to Triple-A then recall him when rosters expand Sunday, Sept. 1. Capuano, whose next turn in the rotation isn’t until Saturday, could also be designated for assignment or placed on release waivers, making Volquez the clear choice for the fifth starter’s job in September.