Rangers starter Edinson Vólquez will retire after the 2019 season, the right-hander told reporters Saturday. It’s still uncertain whether or not he’ll be able to pitch for the Rangers before the season wraps up in a few months’ time.
Vólquez, 36, lost his 2018 campaign to a lengthy recovery from Tommy John surgery and has yet to pitch again in any meaningful way. He logged just two starts at the major-league level in 2019, issuing six runs, eight walks, and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings before a right elbow sprain forced him back to the injured list.
At this point in his career, injuries notwithstanding, Vólquez is still three years removed from his last productive run in the majors. He shouldered a full workload for the last time in 2016, crafting a 10-11 record in 34 starts with the Royals and finishing the season with a 5.37 ERA, 3.6 BB/9, 6.6 SO/9, and 1.7 fWAR in 189 1/3 innings.
Per Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Vólquez threw a bullpen session on Saturday afternoon, which could indicate his readiness to take the mound for the Rangers sometime in the near future. Any official plans for reinstatement, however, have yet to be confirmed. Should Vólquez follow through on his announcement, he’ll wrap up a 14-year trek in the majors, during which he produced a lifetime 93-87 record, 4.43 ERA, and 12.2 fWAR for the Rangers, Reds, Royals, Padres, Dodgers, Pirates, and Marlins.
MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.
Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.
After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.
Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.
Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.