The Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to sign starter Edinson Volquez to a major league contract, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. The deal is pending a physical and other minor details, and the Padres are required to pay Volquez the remainder of his salary for the season minus the pro-rated major league mininum.
After being designated for assignment by San Diego on Saturday, Volquez was placed on unconditional release waivers two days later and became a free agent soon after. The right-hander struggled mightily in 27 starts with the Padres on the year, posting a 9-10 record with a 6.01 ERA, 7.3 K/9, and 4.4 BB/9 in 142.1 innings of work. At the time of his release, he was tied with Yankees' lefty CC Sabathia for the highest number of earned runs allowed on the season (95).
According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, the Dodgers became seriously interested in Volquez once he was made available due to the struggles of their current fifth starter, Chris Capuano. Capuano is 4-7 with a 4.74 ERA in 20 starts this season, so the Dodgers are signing Volquez in hopes of receiving an upgrade at the back end of their rotation. Currently sitting nine games ahead of the Diamondbacks atop the National League West, Los Angeles is already preparing for the playoffs and will likely use Volquez to eat innings in September. If he performs well, he could receive a spot on the team's playoff roster as a reliever behind starters Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Although Volquez has struggled this season, he still seemed to have received a significant amount of interest once he became a free agent. As of this afternoon, the Phillies were among the teams discussing the possibility of signing Volquez for the remainder of the season. He will become a free agent once again after the season, and will likely draw strong interest as a back-of-the-rotation option.
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 that season. 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.