SPORTS

Edinson Volquez says he's ready after finalizing $22 million, 2-year contract with Marlins

Right-hander Edinson Volquez smiles during a news conference at Marlins Park, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, in Miami. Volquez has finalized a $22 million, two-year contract with the Miami Marlins. He joins a rotation shaken by the loss of ace Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident a week before the end of the regular season in September. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Right-hander Edinson Volquez smiles during a news conference at Marlins Park, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, in Miami. Volquez has finalized a $22 million, two-year contract with the Miami Marlins. He joins a rotation shaken by the loss of ace Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident a week before the end of the regular season in September. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)  (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Edinson Volquez admits he was "tired" toward the second half of last season. That attributed to his bloated 5.37 ERA, he said.

The 33-year-old right-hander, fresh off completing his $22 million, two-year contract with the Miami Marlins, assured everyone Friday that he is now rested and ready to go.

"I pitched a lot of innings the year before," Volquez said in Spanish, referring to the 200 1/3 innings he threw for the World Series champion Kansas City Royals in 2015, when he went 13-9 with a 3.55 ERA. "By June and July (of 2016), I was tired."

Volquez, who has made more than 30 starts in each of the past four years, was 10-11 last season.

Volquez gets $9 million next season and $13 million in 2018. He joins a rotation shaken by the loss of ace Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident a week before the end of the regular season in September.

"It's hard to believe," Volquez said. "I was with the Royals when it happened. A lot of us were crying.

"My dad passed away in 2015, so I know what his family is going through," he said.

Volquez said he doesn't view himself as a replacement for Fernandez in the Marlins' rotation.

"Jose's death was a sad moment for MLB," he said. "He was a great pitcher, and he was only 24. But I don't want to be Jose. I want to be me."

An All-Star in 2008 with Cincinnati, Volquez is 89-79 in 12 major league seasons. He became a free agent this month when he declined his mutual option with the Royals.

Volquez said he has lived in Miami for three years, and he told his agent that becoming a member of the Marlins was his top priority in free agency.

"I've liked the Marlins team for a long time," Volquez said. "I know a lot of the guys here like Martin Prado, Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. Fitting in to this clubhouse won't be a problem."

Marlins general manager Michael Hill said he was "excited" to get Volquez.

"He's a World Series champion and an All-Star," Hill said. "He will fit in perfectly with our inventory. But we are not done yet. We want to add to our pitching depth."

Volquez, a native of the Dominican Republic, should also be a good fit in the Miami community with its large Hispanic population.

Marlins Park was another fit, Volquez said.

"I love this park," Volquez said with a huge smile. "It's a big ballpark, and that's important for me, especially as I get older."

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