Rumor has it that the Astros are interested in Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez.
Per Jayson Stark of ESPN, the Astros have apparently decided to look at a certain starting pitcher from the Kansas City Royals.
That’s right, Edinson Volquez!
You know, the same starter that threw arguably one of the worst starts in league history against the Astros back in late June of this year. Yeah, that’s the guy.
This is one rumor that will surely NOT excite Astros fans as the trade deadline heats up this weekend. After all, who wants to part ways with a highly regarded prospect for a pitcher who currently has a 4.70 ERA/4.26 FIP?
That is not to say that the Astros rotation don’t need a jump of sorts with Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh regressing and the backend of the rotation struggling at times. Of the five main starting pitchers on the roster, only Lance McCullers truly has the look of an “ace-like” pitcher as of late.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
But it isn’t like the Astros rotation is truly in dire straits. The rotation’s cumulative 9.4 WAR and 4.04 FIP this season ranks in roughly the top ten among the entire league. However, adding Volquez wouldn’t arguably improve that position in the baseball hierarchy.
But if the Royals have a low price tag attached to Volquez, whose contract has mutual option at the end of the season, then it could be worthwhile to acquire the veteran pitcher. He would essentially force current starter Mike Fiers to the bullpen. This would also strengthen the bullpen depth that has seen its fair share of up’s and down’s in 2016.
However, you have to think replacing Fiers with Volquez is pretty much a lateral move. The only hope the Astros may have in this potential move is whether Volquez can recapture his 2013-14 form when he went a combined 26-16 with a 3.30 ERA/3.98 FIP. That would be an improvement over Fiers and even potentially Doug Fister. For a playoff team wanting to make that final push, that could make sense.
Just remember, pitchers can change from year to year. Volquez also struggled throughout the years from 2009-12 leading up to the 2013 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. It could very well be possible that his best baseball is behind him. The risk for the Astros is only worth it if Volquez has a low price tag. Otherwise, it may be best for the Astros to concentrate their resources elsewhere in the search of a rotation upgrade.
**Statistics provided by Baseball-Reference & Fangraphs**