Volquez finalizes $22 million, 2-year contract with Marlins

Miami Marlins general manager Michael Hill, left, and right-hander Edinson Volquez hold the number 36 jersey as they pose for photos 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)

MIAMI (AP) 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 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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