The Dodgers have signed Edinson Volquez to a major-league deal and the Padres will pay all but the pro-rated minimum of his salary, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 29, 2013
Source: #Dodgers agree with Edinson Volquez on a major league contract. Deal expected to become official tomorrow.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) August 29, 2013
The Dodgers were obviously not comfortable with Chris Capuano‘s performance as the fifth starter, and Stephen Fife has been getting knocked around in AAA after the Dodgers had him switching roles. I can’t imagine they signed Volquez to be a bullpen arm, as they already have 13 pitchers and three experiments in there.
There’s no real risk here, but the problem is that Volquez is basically the worst pitcher in the majors right now, or at least he’s close to it. He has a 6.01 ERA in 142.1 innings and leads the league in earned runs surrendered. Of course, his FIP is 4.20, his xFIP is 4.23, and his SIERA is 4.49, so he figures to regress back to mediocrity, but both Capuano and Fife have better peripherals AND performance than Volquez does.
On the upside, he only needs 143 scoreless innings to get his ERA below 3.
Look, I get that Volquez has a live arm and greater upside, but the last time he posted a season better than mediocre was 2008. Heck, that’s the ONLY time he’s done it. Obviously there’s little risk here paying him the minimum, but you could say that about the risk even if they paid all of his salary given the Dodgers finances. What he costs at the moment is a roster spot and, potentially, games lost, but I suppose with a big division lead and inconsistent fifth starter performance, this was the ideal time for a shot in the dark. If Capuano and Fife are both not injured, that’s the best logical explanation I can come up with.