Chad Qualls drawing interest from six teams

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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.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.