The Pirates have acquired reliever Chad Qualls from the Yankees for Casey McGehee, Joel Sherman reports. The Pirates are also sending $225,000 to cover some of McGehee's remaining salary.
The Gaby Sanchez deal makes a little more sense now, I guess.
The Yankees got Qualls a few weeks ago for a player to be named, so for them, this is like getting McGehee for nothing. Not that McGehee is much better than that, but if you want him to just play against lefties, which is how the Pirates should have used him all along, he probably would have played just fine, and the Pirates would have their competitive balance pick.
Anyway, Qualls hasn't pitched well at all this year, or last year. In 2009, his strikeout rate was 7.79 per nine innings, and his walk rate was 1.21 per nine; now the two numbers seem like they're on a collision course, and in a small sample this year, he's struck out less than five batters per nine. He still throws hard, though, with an average fastball velocity of over 93 MPH, so that's not the problem. The Pirates needed bullpen depth with Brad Lincoln gone, and I guess this move sort of addresses that concern, but Qualls is basically just a random, fungible righty at this point. I'd like to just have the competitive balance pick back. I'd also rather see Chris Leroux or Bryan Morris in the Pirates' pen rather than Qualls at this point.