Yankees swap Chad Qualls to Pirates for Casey McGehee

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Four weeks ago the Yankees sent cash to the Phillies for Chad Qualls, but after eight unimpressive appearances he’s on the move again. New York has sent Qualls to Pittsburgh for Casey McGehee, who became superfluous as a right-handed-hitting third baseman/first baseman once the Pirates acquired Gaby Sanchez from the Marlins today.

Neither player has been much good this season. Qualls has a 4.89 ERA and 21/12 K/BB ratio in 39 innings overall, including allowing five runs in 7.1 innings since the Yankees got him from the Phillies. McGehee has hit just .230 with a .674 OPS and was even worse last year, hitting .223 with a .626 OPS.

This is about as low-wattage as a deadline deal involving two veteran players can possibly get.

Justin Verlander named ALCS MVP

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Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.

“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”

Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.

The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.