Sunday, September 25, 2016

What About Edinson Volquez for 2017?


The 2016 season is all but over at this point and there's nothing left but putting in the work as far as the players are concerned. As far as upper management and Yankees GM Brian Cashman is concerned it's time to start planning for the 2017 season and while the positional players look to be better than they've been in quite some time the pitching will need some work, especially the starting pitching. The free agent market as it stands right now looks to be bleak with none other than Ivan Nova quite possibly left as the best available starter. Well, unless somehow Edinson Volquez of the Kansas City Royals finds his way to the free agent market.

Volquez has a $10 million mutual option for the 2017 season and while he has expressed an interest in returning to Kansas City next season he has also announced his intentions to decline his side of the option. If he does the Royals have to decide whether to buy-out his contract for $3 million, pick up the $10 million tag, decline the option and offer him a qualifying offer or simply let him hit free agency for any and all to have. Let's look at why the Royals more than likely want to keep him and why the Yankees would want him.

PROS:

-Volquez is a durable, veteran innings-eater that has American League, playoffs and World Series tested.

- Volquez would make an ideal 3rd, 4th or 5th starter on the Yankees. Especially if he returns to his first half form from this season in 2017.

- Volquez is a ground ball pitcher who gets over 52% of his outs via the grounder. Pitching in a home park like Yankee Stadium this could be the difference between being that 3rd starter or being that 5th starter.

- If he hits the free agent market it likely won't be after being attached to draft pick compensation as I see him accepting the option if it's offered.

- Volquez could mentor some of the younger guys along with CC Sabathia.

CONS: 

- His second half pitching has left much to be desired. Is it fatigue? That's hard to say but while sabermetrics paint a different story his ERA, BABIP, line drive percentage and other stats have not been pretty lately.

- In a weak starting pitching market and free agent market in general Volquez will command a butt-load of money. A butt-load.

- Volquez barely strikes out over six batters per nine innings.

- Volquez has also seen his walks slowly creep up lately and in this season.

- Did I say a butt-load of money? Ivan Nova wants $70 million. What would Volquez get? $100 million? Probably and without the team blinking an eye.



Should the Yankees sign Volquez if the right-hander hits free agency? Honestly it depends on the number of years in the contract. He's 33-years old and the Yankees are in the midst of a rebuild and youth movement so giving Volquez even four years may be a bit counterproductive. Yes, Michael Pineda is set to hit free agency and so is Nathan Eovaldi and CC Sabathia while Masahiro Tanaka could opt out of his contract after the 2017 season but the way I see it those are merely roster spots for more youth and an ace. Volquez for three years? Yes. Volquez for four years? Honestly, I probably would but I wouldn't exactly be happy about it. Volquez for five seasons? No thank you.

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