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Volquez interested in returning to Dodgers as starter

Volquez interested in returning to Dodgers as starter


LOS ANGELES -- Edinson Volquez said negotiations with the Dodgers that led to his signing Friday did not include any assurances for 2014, but he likes the idea of staying beyond this year.

"Why not?" said the 30-year-old right-hander, who was released this week by the Padres with a 6.01 ERA. "I like what I'm seeing right now. The guys here are nice guys. They may bring me back."

The club has decisions to make about the back end of next year's rotation. Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu are signed long-term. Clayton Kershaw will be back at least via arbitration, if not a new contract.

But Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley are coming off season-ending surgeries. Ricky Nolasco is a free agent who will command a multi-year raise from his current $11.5 million salary. There's an $8 million mutual option for Chris Capuano. If management wants cost containment, it can turn to prospects Stephen Fife, Zach Lee, Ross Stripling and Matt Magill.

After Volquez's scoreless inning in his debut Friday, manager Don Mattingly said a start is being planned, but the date is not set. Volquez considers himself a starting pitcher, and he again took batting practice with the starting pitchers.

"Now it's a matter of Rick [Honeycutt, the pitching coach] looking at the schedule and how we want to match up going forward," Mattingly said. "Do we want to give guys an extra day or two? That will kind of dictate what we do.

"With the off-day, it gives everybody the extra day. Then we hit another stretch there where there are no days off. Depending where we're at and what's gone on, that's when we start making decisions on extra rest without getting them out of routines. I think that's the main thing. You start messing with Kersh and Zack, they don't like getting out of their routines. We're going to try to keep guys in routines as much as we can, but also be careful with them if we can be."

Volquez said he began watching video Saturday with Honeycutt, who noticed a difference in his current mechanics compared to 2008, when Volquez won 17 games and was an All-Star.

"He saw a little difference in the way I break my hands from my glove at the start," said Volquez.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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