The San Diego Padres have designated starting pitcher Edinson Volquez for assignment, according to an announcement from the team. To replace him, the club recalled pitcher Brad Brach from Triple-A Tucson.
Volquez, 30, has struggled mightily in 27 starts with the Padres on the year. In 142.1 innings of work, the righty posted a 9-10 record with a 6.01 ERA, 7.3 K/9, and 4.4 BB/9. He is tied with Yankees' lefty CC Sabathia for the highest number of earned runs allowed on the season (95).
Although Volquez has struggled over the past five seasons with the Reds and Padres, he has still drawn interest from teams looking to add a back-of-the-rotation arm. According to Bill Center of U-T San Diego, many teams had interest in acquiring Volquez in advance of the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31st, including the Orioles and Red Sox. Because of the strong interest a month ago, it would not be surprising to see a team take a flier on Volquez to eat innings in the final month of the season.
The Padres have ten days to decide what to do with Volquez, who is a free agent after the season. They can release him or place him on outright waivers with the intention of sending him to Tucson, but the most likely scenario would be a trade. It is unclear if Volquez has been placed on revocable trade waivers to this point, but his contract status (earning $5.73 million in 2013) likely means that he would clear waivers easily. If he has cleared waivers, the Padres will likely try to deal him to an interested team before the August 31st waiver deadline, in a move that would net them some form of compensation for someone they will probably lose after the season anyway.
In nine major league seasons with the Rangers (2005-2007), Reds (2008-2011) and Padres (2012-2013), Volquez is 53-50 with a 4.77 ERA in 153 career appearances (149 starts). He was an All-Star in his rookie campaign with Cincinnati in 2008, and finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. The Reds shipped him to San Diego following the 2011 season along with Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger and Yasmani Grandal in exchange for starter Mat Latos, who has been excellent in his two years in Cincinnati.