Pittsburgh Pirates' right-hander Edinson Volquez has had a productive rebound season with the Pirates this year, and seems to be open to the idea of remaining in Pittsburgh. According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the 31-year-old Volquez is interested in re-signing with the Pirates this offseason, though he still intends on exploring free agency. Volquez adds that he is seeking a two or three-year deal on the market this winter.
"Why not?" Volquez said. "I think I signed in the right place with the right coaches. They made me a better pitcher this year. So, I'd like to stay here."
The Pirates picked Volquez up for next to nothing (one-year, $5 million) last offseason, and he has given the club a solid return on their investment. In 185.2 innings, Volquez has a 3.15 ERA, 113 ERA+, 4.28 FIP, 6.3 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, and 2.0 WAR. While his performance this season has definitely been impressive, Volquez still carries the caveat of being a Tommy John survivor, and his innings total this season represents his highest mark since 2008. Prior to this season, Volquez had also never really been an above-average pitcher sans a brilliant 2008 campaign. From 2009-2013, he has posted just a 76 ERA+ and 1.70 K/BB. He had arguably the worst year of his career in 2013, notching a 5.71 ERA while playing for the Dodgers and Padres, both of whom play in extreme pitcher's parks.
Of course, the Pirates would likely miss Volquez's presence in their rotation were he to depart. With both Volquez and Francisco Liriano scheduled to hit the market this offseason, Pittsburgh will head into 2015 with a rotation of Gerrit Cole, Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton, and Vance Worley, with prospects such as Jameson Taillon (whenever he returns from Tommy John) and Nick Kingham waiting in the minors. While that appears to be a decent rotation, it is far from that of impact-caliber barring a full-on breakout from Cole and the continued dominance of Worley.