Padres close to signing reliever Chad Qualls to one-year deal

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Chad Qualls is “close to agreeing on a contract” with the Padres, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.

With a 7.32 ERA in 59 innings between two teams Qualls had a dreadful 2010, but most of that can be blamed on a .399 batting average on balls in play that was the worst in all of baseball among the 327 pitchers who logged at least 50 innings.

Earlier this week Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported that Qualls was looking for a one-year deal, so he could rebuild his value and then hit the open market again next offseason, and with that as his goal calling pitcher-friendly Petco Park home is the best-case scenario.

UPDATE: Morosi says it’s a one-year deal worth around $2 million, with a team option for 2012. Very nice pickup for the Padres.

Former Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos signs a minor league deal with the Dodgers

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Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.

OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.

It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.