The Tampa Bay Rays needed to keep up with the aristocracy of the AL East at the MLB trade deadline—the von Joneses, if you will. Acquiring Chad Qualls from the Diamondbacks is something, I guess, and turns Friday night's rumors into Saturday morning truth.
Qualls isn't a particularly impressive pitcher on paper this year, his 8.29 ERA standing out even in a rather horrific Arizona bullpen. But the Rays know more than most clubs about the marginal value of players as a pennant race looms, and picking up Qualls, who is expected to be at Tropicana Field for tonight's game against the Yankees, might give them an upgrade on Lance Cormier and his 22 walks in 36 innings.
This could be just the beginning of the Rays' swapping today—the team has been open to dealing B.J. Upton and interested in upgrading its lineup with some power—or it could be the only move the team makes. It's always hard to tell with the close-to-the-vest Rays.