The KC Royals watched pitcher Edinson Volquez sign with the Miami Marlins for a two-year, $22 million contract. Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore had expressed interest in bringing him back in 2017.
However, the market for Edinson Volquez went beyond the Kansas City Royals‘ price limit. Volquez turned down his half of a $10 million mutual option for 2017 with Kansas City in favor of free-agency. Here we see more evidence that general manager Dayton Moore is serious about his need to control costs. He was (apparently) unwilling to match a moderate, short term deal for a pitcher he wanted to keep.
While Volquez can’t really replace Fernandez, he is a veteran arm that helped pitch the KC Royals to a 2015 World Series title with a 13-9, 3.55 ERA season. Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost tapped Volquez to pitch on Opening Day in 2016, but Volquez slumped to 10-11 with a 5.37 ERA. However, Volquez was an all-star for Cincinnati in 2008, and has pitched for three playoff teams.
Edinson Volquez will long be remembered by KC Royals fans for his difficult start in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series. Volquez received news his father passed away after finishing his start in Game 1. Despite his grief, Volquez responded with 6.0 strong innings while allowing only two runs to the Mets (one earned). Steady Eddie ended up with a no-decision as New York’s Matt Harvey held the Kansas City Royals scoreless through eight innings, but faltered in the ninth to send the game into extra-innings.
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While Volquez didn’t win Game 5, he did keep the score within reach. His performance proved critical when Eric Hosmer made his Mad Dash For Home to tie the Mets in the bottom of the ninth. Kansas City went on to win the game with a five-run rally in the 12th inning. The victory gave the KC Royals franchise their second World Series victory.
Allowing Volquez to walk despite such a modest cost (in today’s market) shows that the only way Dayton Moore is going to land a meaningful upgrade for his rotation is to explore the trade market. If he can’t afford $11 per season for Volquez, then I can’t imagine him landing significant help from free-agency. At best, he might add a bargain arm that enjoys unexpected success in 2017. But, it’s unlikely Moore can sign a player that the Royals can count on before the season begins.