Edinson Volquez was released by the Padres on Tuesday after posting a 6.01 ERA in 142 1/3 innings this year, but it didn’t take long to find a new team.
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the 30-year-old right-hander has agreed to a major league contract — pending a physical — with the Dodgers. He will make the major league minimum, with the Padres covering the large majority of what remains from his $5.725 million player salary for 2013.
Volquez had a breakout year for the Reds in 2008, registering a 3.21 ERA and 206 strikeouts in 196 innings and finishing fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year ballotting. But he has a 4.98 ERA (76 ERA+) in 100 starts since the beginning of the 2009 season and seems doubtful to suddenly figure it out in Los Angeles.
The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.
Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field. He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.
Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.