OAKLAND – Rangers pitcher Edinson Vólquez is hoping to pitch again this year, but that will be it for him.
Volquez said he will retire after this season. Volquez, who made his Major League debut with the Rangers in 2005, said he has had enough.
“I have been doing this since I was nine years old,” Volquez said. “Now I am 36. I don’t feel bad. I’m happy. I’ve done everything in baseball, made the playoffs, pitched in the World Series, won games, strikeouts. I’m not trying to be a Hall of Famer.”
The Rangers signed Volquez as a free agent to a two-year deal on Feb. 16, 2018, while he was recovery from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. The idea was to give him a year to recover and then hope he could be ready to join their rotation.
He opened the season in the Rangers' rotation but made two starts before going on the injured list with a sprained right elbow. He has been working hard trying to get back as a reliever for the Rangers this season just so he can leave the game on his own terms.
He threw a bullpen Saturday and is hoping to throw live batting practice next. After that, the next step would be pitching in relief in Minor League games.
“I don’t want to go out like this,” Volquez said. “If there is a chance, I can do it for two months or two weeks, why not. I’m not doing this to try and get a contract for next year. I just want to prove it to myself. If I can come out of the bullpen for the Rangers, that would be great.”
Volquez said he thought about going home this season, but the Rangers asked him to stay around. Volquez is viewed by multiple clubs as someone who could have a long-term future as a pitching coach or Minor League coordinator.
“They wanted me to be around the young players and help them,” Volquez said. “That’s good. That made me feel good. But my family needs me more than the players. I think I have had enough. Even if I could pitch next year, I feel I have done enough.
“Maybe if some team offers $10 million, I might change my mind. But I just want to come back this year and prove it to myself. I want to go out the front door. I don’t want to go out the back door.”