Pirates, pitcher Volquez reach 1-year deal
PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Pirates have reached a deal with right-handed pitcher Edinson Volquez on a one-year contract for $5 million.
The 30-year-old Volquez went 9-12 with a 5.71 ERA in 2013 while splitting time with the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The deal is pending a physical.
Volquez is the latest reclamation project signed by the Pirates. Volquez was an All-Star in 2008 when he went 17-6 for the Cincinnati. He has spent the last five years dealing with injury and other issues. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009 and served a 50-game suspension in 2010 for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Volquez gives the Pirates some rotation depth if the team cannot sign free agent A.J. Burnett, who is mulling retirement.
Earlier Wednesday the Pirates and right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton agreed to a three-year, $21-million contract.
The 30-year-old Morton went 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 20 starts for the Pirates in 2013. The deal includes a 2017 club option for $9.5 million.
Morton missed most of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 while recovering from elbow reconstruction surgery. His return bolstered a rotation that propelled the Pirates to 94 wins and the franchise’s first playoff appearance in 21 years.
Morton gives the Pirates some needed depth and stability behind Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole. Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who sat out the final four months of the 2013 season due to arm trouble, is also expected to be back.