Keri: Qualls-to-Yanks ‘needs to happen’

RAB Live Chat
Rumor of the Day: What the Indians want

Over at today, friend-of-RAB Jonah Keri checks in with the nine deadline deals he feels need to happen. The major highlights include Cliff Lee to Tampa, Victor Martinez to the Red Sox and Roy Halladay to the Rangers, but the Yankees make the list as well.

Keri believes, as do we, that the Yanks should do their best to acquire current Diamondbacks reliever Chad Qualls. The 30-year-old right-hander has thrown 39.2 innings over 38 appearances this year, and his peripherals — 33 strike outs to just five walks — are impressive. His 2.58 ground out-to-air out ratio make him, in the words of Buster Olney, a perfect fit for new Yankee Stadium. Anyway, this is Keri’s take:

Sure, Halladay or Cliff Lee would be a sexier move. But Qualls would give the Yankees an excellent strikeout-and-groundball machine who can provide a bridge to Mariano Rivera in the eighth inning (and hopefully serve as a stopper in earlier innings, if Joe Girardi will stop being so hung up on roles). But what’s this, you say, Phil Hughes is already a lights-out set-up man? Too true. But Hughes offers more value if he can settle in as a strikeout-throwing starting pitcher to replace DL’d Chien-Ming Wang and complement CC Sabathia and company.

The Yankees wisely have Hughes — like Joba Chamberlain — ticketed for the rotation long-term, knowing it’s much harder to find effective starters than useful relievers. Qualls would ensure the Yankees don’t have to ship out elite prospects like Jesus Montero to upgrade the big-league roster, while also giving Hughes a chance to stretch into a five- or six-inning starter now, and a potential rotation star later.

Needless to say, the Yankees aren’t going to shipping out Jesus Montero for anything short of the second coming of Whitey Ford right now, but Keri’s analysis is still spot on. Qualls would be a perfect addition to the Yankee pen, and his presence would give them some much-needed flexibility as their pitching depth has suddenly dissipated. We’ll have to see what Brian Cashman can do.

RAB Live Chat
Rumor of the Day: What the Indians want
  • scoopemup

    I’d like to see them get a defensive minded veteran outfielder as well.

    • Bo

      How many OF’s do u want them to carry??

      Already got 2 backups in Gardner and Hinske.

      • Steve S

        And Melky

      • jsbrendog

        yeah but hinske can play 1b/3b too so he’s not necessarily a “backup outfielder”

        they only really have 1 bakcup outfielder in melky/gardner and then they have a utility guy who can play lf/rf

        • leokitty

          But that’s about all you need?

          • jsbrendog

            well, let’ s say gardner is the starter. then you’ve got your backup with a good arm and range who can play all 3 of positions and is mediocre at the plate. then you’ve got your other OF who can play the corners and his bat has power. So in essence, 5 OF.

            Then you’ve got 3 1b, 2 of which (swisher, hinske) can play the OF and all of which have power, and other than hinske are starters.

            then you’ve got 3 middle infielder. Ransom si the bakcup and jeter/cano starters.

            then you’ve got 3 3b with arod ransom and hinske.

            so with only 10 guys you in essence have 14 positions between them. that’s pretty good flexibility everywhere except the MI where pena is only a callup away and depending on how he does could become a 6th OF.

            that’s pretty damn good.

            • Steve

              I’ve heard Hinkse doesn’t really play 3rd that much these days (when he was with pirates). Has he for the Yanks yet?

              • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)


              • ChrisS

                Yeah, for two innings with zero chances. But I’d imagine he’d only be in at 3B if Ransom had already taken over for Jeter or Cano and A-Rod then went down. All he’d have to do is knock down anything that came his way for the rest of the game.

                I doubt he’d be there for anything more than part of a game.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  Oh yeah, forgot about those 2 innings.

  • Steve S

    Couple things:

    1) Aceves, I know he doesnt have the stuff that Hughes has but he has been very effective. Why cant he be the primary short man in the 7th and 8th innings?

    2) Qualls is fine but I really am skeptical of essentially journeyman middle relievers who have never been in the American League. Not to mention the first sign of weakness or bad game, the fans and media will crucify this guy and scream for Hughes to be back in the bullpen.

    3) It seems like Girardi wasnt trying to get rid of the roles in the bullpen, but the only guy who responds is Aceves. All these other guys (Coke,etc..) seem to need a fixed role. I dont blame them (I dont understand it) but they are all creatures of habit and cant handle that stuff.

    I say just transition Hughes back into the rotation, give those innings to Coke, Aceves and Bruney. And hopefully Melancon or Marte can be another solution in August or September.

  • Glen L

    I’m down with getting Qualls; Hughes can go back to starting after he works his way up in terms of stamina. But what happens when Joba (most likely) goes to the pen? We’re in the same position we are now only with Hughes and Joba in reverse roles.

    Although, maybe its just not a big deal who the 5th starter is for last 5-6 weeks of the season. Its not like Mitre’s named is spelled P-o-n-s-o-n

  • Mike HC

    Yea, I guess Qualls would be an ok pick up. If they Yanks don’t have to give anybody up to get him, then I don’t see why not. Why would the D-backs want to trade him for very little though?

  • thebusiness

    Qualls would be good and considering what the Indians got for Betancourt, he’s reasonably attainable.

  • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

    I’d rather get a decent tthird or fourth starter.

    Hughes MIGHT end up being that. Or, like all young players and like he did before, he might struggle. Rather get a surer thing just, for example, like Washburn.

    Still, Qualls wouldn’t be a bad pickup.

    • jsbrendog

      in terms of cost washburn will cost >>>>>> than qualls.

      look at what the tribe just got for betancourt

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Yeah well that’s true.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Why? We could get a decent starter in the system or in the bullpen. Who would be a decent starter that wouldn’t cost a lot and would provide a huge upgrade?

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Isn’t there a guy on the Pirates having a good year? forget his name, but his ERA’s in the 3’s.

        If we had a decent starter in the system, we’d use him. Instead we’re using Sergio Mitre. He may do well, but your SP depth is not exactly cavernous if Mitre is in your rotation.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          The Pirates? You mean our AAAA system that we share with other teams?
          If the cost is right then I wouldn’t be against it. Though he does pitch int he NL…anyways I don’t know if there would be a good starter marginally better than Mitre that wouldn’t cost a lot. Maybe Washburn and if the Yanks can I’d be good with that.

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

            He pitches in the NL but so did Mitre and his ERA is better than Mitre’s.

            • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

              Zach Duke. That’s it.

  • MJ

    I know this isn’t directly related to the Qualls-to-Yanks portion of the article but I found it weird that Keri would suggest Michael Bowden-for-Victor Martinez or Wade Davis/Reid Brignac-for-Cliff Lee would be enough compensation for the Indians.

    Both Lee and Martinez have very reasonable contract options remaining for 2010 so I imagine that the Indians have the right to get a lot more.

    • Tony

      I would be fine with the Red Sox burning prospects for Martinez. Lots of wear and tear, not young, and his bat is nothing special at 1B.

    • Zach

      Well she said Bowden would be headlining the deal, not one for one. Bowden, Anderson and another arm. or Buchholz, Anderson and a lower prospect

  • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

    Anybody hear for the Yanks deal for Lee that almost was? The Indians asked for either Joba or Hughes to be packaged in the deal. That led to talks going sour, apparently.

    • leokitty

      That’s not a deal that almost was, that’s preliminary talks that didn’t go further.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Either way.

      • Mikebk

        cant see them asking for joba or phil for lee and settling for wade davis or reid brignac.

  • ChrisS

    I’d need a lot better than the second coming of Whitey Ford for Montero.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      Than what in the world would you neeed? The second coming of the greatest pitcher in Yankee history and one of the greatest pitchers ever in all of baseball not good enough for you? For an unpanned prospect?

      If this is a joke, sorry.

      • Double-J

        Wait…OH!!! You meant THAT Whitey Ford…

  • Frank

    I’m not opposed to Qualls, but I’d like to see Melancon/D-Rob used more often to see what they can do. If one of those two can prove to be fairly reliable, and Bruney can get his act together, they wouldn’t need Qualls.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      I want Melancon used more often.

    • Drew

      D-Rob has gotten a bunch of shots. HE doesn’t allow hits but he walks everyone. Bottom line, when we get good starting pitching it’s hard to give everyone in the pen solid work, especially when a few guys are clearly outperforming the others.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Robertson has trouble in tense games and spots.

        Still, he’s young enough not to give up on.

        • Drew

          No one is giving up on anyone, it’s just a matter of, late in a 2 run game, you have Hughes, Ace, Melancon and D-rob readily available, who do you go to? I’d pick Hughes or Ace.

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

            Hughes or Ace, no question.

      • Frank

        On the flip side, if D-Rob pitches once every 10 days-2 weeks, it’s not surprising control would be an issue. The bottom line is in a close game, it’s clear Joe relies only on Aceves, Coke, and Hughes. At some point, Bruney, Melancon or D-Rob have to be used in a tight spot if for anything, just to give one of the others a rest.

        • Drew

          Yepp, we agree there. They’re going to get their shot, especially Bruney. Hopefully they can take advantage of it. We know one thing, almost like Joe T, Joe G will go to you if he trusts you.

        • Zach

          rest has nothing to do with it- look at his game log, he was pitching regularly and had crap as control. he walked 4-5 BB/9 in the minors.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    I liked Qualls in “Roadtrip”.

  • Mikebk

    anyone know what it would take to get Zach Duke or Paul Maholm out of Pitt?

    Either could be a 5 this year and stay there next year as phil takes andy’s spot since it appears likely Wang is going to need surgery which would take him out for next year in all likelihood.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      Zach Duke! Tht’s it!

      See one of my post from above about a decnt Pirates pitcher.

      • Mikebk

        glad i could help. he is 8-9 with a 3.38 and has a career 4.21. he would be a very good 5 starter even if he is a 4.5 era guy because if nothing happens the rest of the year 3 of 4 he will top 185 innings at the major league level and is only 26. In fact his rookie year he topped 185 if u combine AAA and majors and has made 30+ starts in 4 of 5 years.

        • Rick in Boston

          It’s more of a question of why the Pirates would move a young, cost-controlled (for now) starter? It’s not like they’ve sold off young guys, it’s older guys or impending free agents.

          • Mike bk

            u mean like Nate McClouth?

  • RobC

    Trade for Halladay and take Wells to lessen the quality of players you have to trade back.
    They are the Yankees and its only $$$$

    Seriously at what point have they spent enough that more does not matter? At what point have they spent so much that they now have to continue to do everything possible to win?
    What are the chances of winning a 5or 7 game play-off when CC and Hallady would pitch 3 or 4 of those games?

    Halladay saying he is not looking for an extention and taking Wells would have to lessen what the Jays can ask for.

    Is Hallady better tahn Whitey Ford?
    Dont know.
    Any one know how Hallady’s stats relative to the present AL compare to Ford’s relative to the AL then?

    • Rick in Boston

      Wells’ contract is awful. So bad it makes A-Rod’s look good.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        If we win a WS with A-Rod on our team, it’s worth it. So we should hurry up and win.

    • leokitty

      Nobody is taking on Wells’ contract and the Jays are not going to include it to get less for Halladay. They are trading Halladay to get AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, not to dump a horrible contract.

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