Free agent reliever Chad Qualls turned in an ugly 7.32 ERA and 1.80 WHIP across 59 innings for the Diamondbacks and Rays in 2010 and drew very little interest during the early part of this offseason. But that is starting to change as reliever-needy teams look to fill their bullpens.
According to Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group, Qualls is now drawing legitimate interest from six teams, including the Oakland A’s.
The Mets also made contact with his representatives earlier this winter.
Qualls shouldn’t command more than $1.5 million on a one-year contract and may be able to bounce back in a low-pressure middle relief role. He still boasts a healthy 3.82 career ERA and 1.27 career WHIP in 460 total major league appearances.
If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.
“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.
Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.