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.

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Francisco Liriano
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Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.

Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.

Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.