I hope I don’t get to the free agent market,…I’d like to stay a Padre. I think that they know that. I love it here. I see a future with the Padres and I like everything about San Diego, the food, the weather, the community.
After three years marred with injuries and a suspension in Cincinnati, Volquez found himself a fresh start in San Diego. Thus, Edinson’s desire to stay in San Diego though makes sense when one considers that he enjoyed a “bounce-back season” of sorts with the Friars last year. Although his 2012 numbers were not particularly stellar, Volquez still proved to be one of the Padres’ most effective and consistent Starters over the course of the regular season.
Overall, Edinson went 11-11 in 32 Starts, logged 182.2 Innings and a 4.14 ERA, and led the Padres in Strikeouts with 174 on the season. Unfortunately for Volquez, his ridiculously high Walk total (105) led the National League, and in effect kept him from achieving any more success in 2012.
But with Volquez coming off of a bounce-back year, and pitching in a city, a spacious ballpark, and for a team he apparently likes, I have started to question the following:
- What will the Padres do in the event that their veteran Right-Hander pitches well in 2013?
- Will he be re-signed to a new deal? If yes, how long will the potential deal be slated to last?
- Will San Diego’s brass simply allow him to walk and test the Free Agent market when the season ends?
In my opinion, as long as Volquez proves that he can stay healthy and improve his control, the Padres should definitely try to re-up him after the regular season ends. Do not get me wrong, I understand that the Padres are sure to have plenty of young and talented Starters coming up to the Major League level over the next three years. And yes, I understand that the Padres organization has a deserved reputation of being notoriously frugal over the last 40-plus years.
But San Diego’s Pitching Staff could really stand to benefit from a veteran presence like Volquez in the back-end of their Rotation. Remember readers, Volquez will only turn 30 years of age this July, and still could have three to four productive years ahead of him if he can stay off of the Disabled List. As long as he stays healthy, Edinson could very well assume the role of an “Innings Eater” for San Diego’s young Starting Rotation and Bullpen over the next two to three years. This in turn could help the Padres and their young hurlers, because they will likely be restricted in terms of Innings and Pitches once they reach the Major League level.
What Volquez will inevitably cost San Diego, and how long his potential contract could last, will likely be determined by how well he pitches this year, and whether or not he can stay at full health. This year, Volquez is set to earn $5.725 million, which is over twice what he made ($2.2375 million) during the 2012 season. If in fact the Padre Starter can pitch effectively, I would not mind seeing him offered a 2 to 3 year extension to remain with the team. He could begin his early 30′s with the Friars, and the investment could be short-term enough for San Diego and Volquez if the deal does not work out for either party.
What a potential new deal could cost or is projected to cost the always-frugal Padres for a solid-performance by Volquez this year is another matter altogether. But as I stated previously, San Diego’s Starting Staff could stand to benefit from keeping a veteran or two around over the next few seasons, even with the youth movement likely to begin as early as this year. Whether it will be Volquez or Clayton Richard (Free Agent in 2015) who is inevitably kept, I am sure is an unsettled matter at this point. Just keep a close eye on Volquez as well as Richard as this year progresses, because both will likely begin their push to pitch for their own new deal in the near future.
Whether or not the Padres’ Front Office will reward Volquez financially, if he performs well, when the time comes to do so is a mystery though.
Let’s just hope that Edinson can be an even more productive Pitcher this year to warrant a future discussion on a contract extension for him to stay in town.
Stats Courtesy of: Baseball Reference