Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Veteran Free Agents Who Could Help
By Noah Wright
The Pittsburgh Pirates are more than familiar with Edinson Volquez. The right-hander was one of their best starters in 2014 and was given the ball for the 2014 National League Wild Card Game for the Pirates. Despite his poor start in the Wild Card Game loss, Volquez wound up being a successful signing, one that was originally seen as a bad move, but could the Pirates pull some magic out of Volquez again?
Volquez is now primarily a relief pitcher and in his late-30s, but he’s throwing harder than ever. Last season his sinker averaged 94.3 MPH, the highest mark he’s touched since 2010 with the pitch. He was even able to get it into the 95-MPH range a few times during the season. His curveball also still was in the top 79th percentile of spin at 2733 RPM. Both his fastball and sinker had above average spin as well in the top 58th percentile.
His change up was his most valuable pitch averaging -2.5 run value/100 pitches. However, both his four-seam fastball and curveball were also well above average in terms of run value/100 pitches.
Volquez may still have something left in the tank as evident by his recent spike in velocity. It wouldn’t hurt to bring in the veteran right-hander on a one-year deal or minor league deal to grab a relief role and potentially turn into a trade piece by the deadline for the Pittsburgh Pirates.