[UPDATE] The Rays have placed Grant Balfour on the DL with a rib strain. Qualls will take Balfour’s spot on the roster.

[UPDATE] The Rays just announced that Qualls will be in uniform tonight. They will announce a corresponding move prior to the game.

[6:27amThe Rays have picked up relief pitcher Chad Qualls from the Diamondbacks for a player to be named later. Qualls will be a free agent after the season and the Rays are responsible for the entire $1.5 million remaining on his contract.

Qualls has an 8.29 ERA in 38 innings this season with 34 strikeouts and 15 walks. His FIP is 4.30 which suggests he has been unlucky but even that number is not very good.

The key number might be that opponents have a .434 batting average on balls in play (BABIP). That number should be closer to .300. A horrible BABIP can sometimes be blamed on poor defense behind the pitcher, but in the case of Arizona, they are a good defensive team. So again, maybe he has just been unlucky. Very unlucky. Or maybe the Rays just picked up a new “down 9-2 guy.”



  1. Justin says:

    What the…?

    But, but, but…. WHY?

  2. Gary says:

    Qualls???? He has an ERA of over 8!!!!! WTF!!!

  3. Sandy says:

    You have got to be kidding! This makes my head want to explode!

  4. John S says:

    Wow we better not have given anything of substance. I guess we are going to see another reliever being traded unless Qualls is headed down to AAA (Durham) to work on things before the September callup

  5. robert says:

    He’s a down 11-2 guy and or an up 24-6 guy. Spend some money this year, win the World Series, shed payroll during the off-season. Oh, nice game last night!

  6. John says:

    We have Sonny and Cormier to fill that role, why do we need him? He doesn’t help nor solidify anything. Did Andrew pull this off to show “we did something” before the deadline? If AZ is a good defensive club and we are great, his ERA should would out to a SOLID 6.00. Again, we have Sonny, Choate and Cormier for that role already and only one of them is a lefy – WHICH WE NEEDED. Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.

  7. Jay says:

    We did this cause at worst he just replaces Cormier in mop up duty, and at best his BABIP comes back down to normal or more in line with career average, and he becomes a substantial upgrade over Cormier and someone who could be used to close when Soriano or Beniot is unavailable due to multiple straight game use. Its in line with Friedmans low risk, high reward type of moves.

    • Stephanie says:

      I agree they need to replace Cormier, but I don’t want them putting some guy who completely sucks out there on the off chance he suddenly starts pitching better. There has to be someone in AAA who is better than this. Also, doesn’t FIP ignore BABIP? I just don’t get this move.

      • Cork Gaines says:

        Also, doesn’t FIP ignore BABIP?

        Yes. BABIP is for balls in play. And FIP is a measure of how the pitcher does on balls that are not hit in play. Generally, the pitcher has much more control over balls NOT put in play so FIP is a better measure of a pitcher’s true talent-level. BABIP is one measure that can be used to explain why a pitcher’s ERA is dramatically different than his FIP (since ERA does include balls in play and FIP does not)

    • Mark says:


      I think you are the only one here who gets it.

      He has been a good reliever every year, but this one.
      He’s not going to be worse then Cormier and if he is terrible then we can get rid of him and bring some one else up. It’s not like we gave anything up for him.

      But if he does return to his normal self. Watch out. We just strengthened an already strong pen

      Great move in my opinion.

      No risk. Possible high reward

      • Stephanie says:

        We do “get it.” We are just unconvinced. I realize he may be better–even way better–than his ERA. But his FIP is nothing spectacular either.

        The Rays FO aren’t stupid. Obviously they believe Qualls has some value. I just think they made a mistake on this one. Unless they are putting him in AAA, there is a risk that his continued poor performance will hurt the team.

        Maybe they saw something and they think they can get him on track quickly. I looked at his season numbers and, according to ERA, his best month was May when his ERA was still over 6. I just don’t believe he can turn it around that quickly and I don’t want the Rays to lose any games because of this guy.

  8. tbdudette says:

    From the highest of the high feeling for the win last night to the lowest of the low….this is our money is no object end of the season shoring up our lineup for a WS run….seriously…a RH reliever with an 8+ ERA…FAIL

  9. Don says:

    $1.5 mil for less than 1/2 the season is not peanuts….thats as much as Wheller and Ballfour make (for 1/2)…the Rays have $ to Blow on bullshit…but not pay their good players…how many $1mil players have they signed this year?….where can they play? Pay your GOOD players forget these bullshit players!

    • Chad G says:

      I know the Rays front office is so dumb. They have done a terrible job.
      Why trade for Qualls when they could resign Crawford?

      This is sarcastic for the record

  10. Stephanie says:

    Have the Rays announced a move to make room for Qualls? How soon do they have to make a move after the trade is official?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Well, first the trade needs to be approved by MLB. just a technicality, but it adds a delay. The Rays havent even officially announced Qualls yet. When they do, I’m sure we will also hear the subsequent move.

  11. Matt says:

    I know Qualls’ stats look pretty awful this season but overall it’s not a bad deal in my mind. His career ERA is 3.74 and before this season, his highest ERA in a season was 3.76. His career WHIP is 1.26 so not bad there. Another thing I thought is that he was the closer in Arizona with bad stats so maybe he doesn’t have the stuff to be a closer. Good job Friedman.

    • Hellrayser says:

      There’s no guarantee that Qualls’s ERA will regress to the mean this season.

      Hopefully, there’s another shoe that’ll drop before the day is over. Otherwise, I’m not sure I can watch the next month or two. It all depends on how serious the FO is about winning this year. There’s no way they can do it without adding another bat, much as I might hope otherwise.

  12. John S says:

    Also people.. do you not remember when Qualls had his best year… 2005 with the Houston Astros setup man for Brad Lidge.. He was pretty damn good that year.. And even bigger his pitching coach Jim Hickey!

    I question the move and I am not necessarily happy with it but I can see where the front office was like hey we can get a guy cheap who has not been pitching up to his potential and then calling Hickey and do you see what is wrong and is it easy to fix.

  13. Gatorbuc15 says:

    You people are over reacting. Qualls was a good pick up by the Rays. Just because he has a high ERA doesn’t make him a bad pitcher. I mean just look at Lance. He has a high ERA, but lefthanded hitters can’t touch him. Qualls does a much better job against righties than he does against lefties. So he’s the opposite of Lance. Like Superman and Bizarro-Superman.

  14. Joe D. says:

    Does think this move has anything to do w/ Balfour apparently leaving the game early?

  15. TBGriot says:

    I like this move. People forget that relievers performance (or results rather) vary heavily from year to year. Just look at Benoits career for proof of that. Qualls had proven to be a decent-to-above average closer over the course of his career and there is nothing in the pitch F/X data to suggest that his bad numbers this year are a result of anything but luck and random varience. I like the move, especially if the PTBNL is a non-prospect

  16. TBGriot says:

    Also, the D-Backs home park has proven to be VERY hitter friendly this year so keep that in mind

  17. Joe says:

    Definitely a good move. Arizona has one of the worst defenses in baseball, not to mention a high run environment park. Qualls has been good to very good since he entered the league in 2004. Don’t take 38 innings to mean very much.

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