Phillies trade reliever Chad Qualls to Yankees

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From Mark Hale of the New York Post comes word that the Yankees have acquired right-handed reliever Chad Qualls from the Phillies for a player to be named later or future cash considerations.

Qualls was designated for assignment by Philly last week after posting a 4.60 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 31 1/3 innings. He’s doubtful to suddenly find success in the American League East, but a change of scenery can sometimes work wonders for a reliever and the Yankees will simply hope for the best.

The Phillies have now made two trades in two days, though both players were expendable. It’s not fair to say the organization is having a fire sale until someone like Cole Hamels starts getting shopped around to different teams. Oh, wait.

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.