Edinson Volquez reportedly signs with Pirates

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

The 30-year-old right-hander somehow turned a 5.71 ERA in pitcher-friendly parks in a down year for offense into $5 million. Welcome to the new frontier.

Another Dodgers free agent has found a new home, as pitcher Edinson Volquez has found a new home in Pittsburgh. The right-hander has signed a one-year contract with the Pirates worth a reported $5 million, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Volquez, 30, was released by the Padres in August after putting up a 6.01 ERA in 27 starts, including a 5.38 ERA in 15 starts at pitcher-friendly Petco Park. The Dodgers signed him to help stretch the rotation in September and he put up a 4.18 ERA in six games, including five starts, with 26 strikeouts and eight walks in 28 innings.

Among the 81 pitchers with at least 162 innings pitched in 2013, Volquez ranked last in ERA (5.71), last in ERA+ (60), 66th in FIP (4.25), and last in Wins Above Replacement by both FanGraphs (0.4) and Baseball-Reference (-2.4).

But he somehow got a $5 million contract.

Volquez increased his strikeout rate with the Dodgers to 22.0%, more in line with his career mark of 21.0% than the 17.6% strikeout rate he had in five months with San Diego in 2013.

The Dodgers put Volquez on their NLCS roster, but he didn't pitch in the six games against the (sign-stealing) Cardinals.

As Sawchik noted, "If [Pirates pitching coach] Ray Searage can fix Francisco Liriano and Edinson Volquez in back-to-back years he belongs in the Hall of Fame"

Liriano was named the 2013 National League Comeback Player of the Year Award and finished tied for ninth in Cy Young balloting after going 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA with 163 strikeouts in 161 innings in 26 starts.

The Dodgers have six free agents remaining: Chris Capuano, J.P. Howell, Carlos Marmol, Mark Ellis, Juan Uribe and Michael Young.

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