The Philadelphia Phillies pounced on the reliever market early, securing Jonathan Papelbon for many millions. The Phillies committed more money to him than the next two most-expensive relievers combined, but not to worry -- they still found some money to go bargain-hunting. Todd Zolecki tweets, "Phillies sign RHP Chad Qualls to $1.15 million deal."
Three seasons ago, Qualls was a closer. Two seasons ago, Qualls was a jug of kerosene next to an open flame, and he was one of the culprits in the infamous 2010 Diamondbacks' bullpen. Last season, then, was a mini-renaissance for Qualls, who posted a 3.51 ERA in 77 appearances.
But that was with the Padres.
Yikes. Last month, our own Marc Normandin wrote about him:
Qualls is a groundball machine with control of his stuff. What's not to love, then? Qualls didn't miss bats last year like he used to -- just 5.2 strikeouts per nine, thanks to his slider being just average at inducing swings-and-misses -- and considering how many ground outs you'll see him get, he has an odd tendency to give up homers.
Translation: Boy, Citizen's Bank Park is sure an interesting match for him. But Qualls will likely be the third or fourth right-hander out of the pen, and he's still got that lively sinker, so it's a pretty good risk/reward balance for a minimal price.