Edinson Volquez to the Dodgers and Other MLB Waiver Wire Deals from Wednesday
The two teams picked up a pair of players off of the major league waiver wire, with the Dodgers signing starting pitcher Edinson Volquez and the Orioles landing outfielder/designated hitter Josh Willingham.
The Dodgers' fifth man in the starting rotation, Chris Capuano, has been struggling this season with a 4-7 record and a 4.71 ERA, which begs the question, "Does a guy like Voquez, who is 9-10 with a 6.01 ERA, prove an effective replacement?"
Volquez's ERA, by the way, is the highest among qualified starting pitchers in the majors.
The Dodgers reportedly sign Edinson Volquez. His 6.01 ERA is the highest among qualified starters this season— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 29, 2013
Granted, Volquez had pitched for the offensively challenged San Diego Padres, so he could never really pitch with the confidence that a lead provides, but a pitcher doesn't acquire the highest ERA in the league because of low run support.
Volquez has shown that he has potential as a quality starter. In 2008 with the Cincinnati Reds, he was a National League All-Star, going 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA while striking out 206 in 196 innings. Unfortunately for Volquez, he had to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2009 and had been unable to regain his old form.
While the move to acquire Volquez is confusing, as noted by Matt Snyder of CBS Sports, the Orioles' waiver claim for Willingham makes sense.
The Orioles are the team that claimed Twins OFer Josh Willingham -- they are trying to work out a deal with Minnesota, a source confirms— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) August 29, 2013
The Orioles' attempts for the outfielder/DH should please the fans of Baltimore. Willingham was a productive bat in an otherwise sterile Twins' lineup last year, hitting 35 home runs and driving in 115 runs. With big bats like Chris Davis and Adam Jones already on the minds of pitchers opposing the Orioles, Willingham could see more RBI opportunities in Baltimore.
The Twins, who are also looking to move first baseman Justin Morneau, according to Lauren Moranor of SportsWorldReport.com, still have the option to keep Willingham if the two teams cannot reach a deal within the 48-hour window.
His stats have dropped off some this year (12 HR, 45 RBI) due to a knee injury, but the Orioles do not currently have a consistent DH. Their last five games have seen four different players serve the role. Nolan Reimhold has the most games at DH for the Orioles this season (28), but he is currently on the disabled list and was not very successful in his previous 128 at-bats, hitting just .195 with five home runs.
Both the Dodgers and the Orioles are playoff-contending teams this year. The Dodgers look to stroll into the postseason on the back of their seemingly untouchable pitching staff, so acquiring Volquez doesn't make much sense right now. Unless they have some ulterior motive, nothing about his recent starts make him a worthwhile pickup.
The Orioles, on the other hand, are four-and-a-half games back in the AL Wild Card standings and could use a spark from a new arrival. Saying that, a new pitcher would probably serve them better, as they rank 25th in the league in overall ERA and 23rd in quality starts.
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