Royals get Edinson Volquez, and you get my Thoughts!

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Last night the Kansas City Royals announced the signing of right handed pitcher Edinson Volquez to a 2 year $20 million deal.  Volquez will turn 32 this Summer and has been pitching in the big leagues since 2005.  Over that time he has posted a career 4.44 ERA, with a 1.454 WHIP and k/bb ratio of 1.8 .  In his career he has never gotten to the magical 200 inning mark GMDM said he was trying to find, but he has posted 170 innings or more 4 times.  

So where are these thoughts I promised?

First, Volquez had a pretty decent year last year (minus the N.L. Wildcard Game) for the Pirates.  He was the beneficiary of a good defense and really good pitching coach, sound familiar???  He posted a 3.04 ERA and threw 192 innings and 140 strikeouts.  He also posted a 1.21 WHIP with 71 walks.  All told this was a really good year for the Dominican rightie.  But it was also a contract year, in a really good scenario.  Is that magical capable of being recreated this year?  Dayton thinks so.  

Volquez had Tommy John surgery in 2009 missing most the season, then got popped for P.E.D's in 2010 and missed 50 games.  So even though he has pitched for 10 years in the bigs, he actually has less innings on his arm than most 10 year vets. Now what that means is anyones guess.  Could mean he is ramping up, and maturing as a pitcher.  If so his knock of being a bit of a wild thrower could be harnessed into a refined pitcher.  

Where does he fit?  As I see it now he is a solid #4 starter on a team with 2 #2's and now three #4's.  I think Duffy and Ace Ventura are upper level pro pitchers.  But they are still too young to be deemed real number ones.  Then Vargas and Guthrie would be solid #4 starters, but just don't quite have the stuff to crack that number 2 or 3 roll on teams that don't have 5 legit gold glovers behind them.  If Volquez can continue to decrease his walks, and go along with Dave Eiland's idea of pitching to contact, this could be a very good fit for him.  

So what does all this mean.  I am still not sold on Volquez.  I saw him play for the better part of a season at Petco Park. A similar to Kauffman, and with a pretty good pitching mind (Royals favorite) Bud Black as a manager.  He had one of his worst seasons as a pro in this environment.  That was 2013 and he has had a pretty good bounce back performance in-between, but I am still not sold on the deal.  

We also had a pretty huge void to fill, and if we are saying Volquez is that guy I think we now just have a pretty big hole to fill.  He is definitely not a James Shields like pitcher, nor have there been any reports of his strong leadership ability. So all told the Royals rotation has downgraded from where it was at the end of last year.  In a lot of ways this reminds me of the Ervin Santana deal of 2013.  A former name that had not been his former self for a few years.

I saw a really interesting stat last night that sums up this under whelming offseason by the Royals.  Last season Aoki/Butler/Shield's WAR was 5.7.  Rios/Morales/Volquez bring in a total of -0.8 WAR.  That is a difference of 6.5.  At the going rate of about $6 million/WAR we should have dropped about $39 million in payroll.  Instead with a conservative estimation of arbitration, our Payroll should be about $110 Million this year.  A gain of nearly $18 million.  So per WAR we got worse, but per payroll we paid more.  

With GMDM taking us to the promise land I have vowed to "Trust the Process,"  However he isn't the POPE so it doesn't mean he is infallible.  It just means I will sit back and teeter-totter on his moves as a talk myself into thinking they are crap, then that they may just work…..and then back to they are crap!  Oh to be a Royals Fan!  

On a side note, I hope you are having fun with this mysterious white substance outside.  It's been 7 years since I have had a snow day!  I give it about 6 more hours before I am over it!  

photo credit: SD Dirk via photopin cc

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