NL East Notes: Phillies Sign Chad Qualls, Johnson Wants Bryce Harper In RF Opening Day

Here’s a couple of interesting notes from our NL East foes…

Right-handed reliever Chad Qualls has signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Qualls, 33, has made 512 appearances over the last seven years – the most in the majors. He gets a one-year deal worth $1.15 million and is expected to go at the head of the line to become the Phillies setup man for newly acquired closer Jonathan Papelbon.

“We don’t have a whole lot of depth in the eighth inning,” said general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.. Qualls made himself available at a reasonable price and we’re happy to have him. We really liked his stuff at the end of the season and we actually thought of trading for him at times…He sinks the ball well, which should be good because we catch the ball.”

Qualls was 6-8 with a 3.51 ERA in 77 games for the Padres last year, but had a 1.96 ERA in his final 19 appearances.

Meanwhile, Davey Johnson has no doubt that phenom prospect Bryce Harper is ready to make the jump to the major leagues (Harper does too by the way.)

Jon Heyman tweeted this morning that Johnson said he really wants Harper starting the year with the Nationals as his Opening Day right fielder.

Do some of you remember when Johnson was pushing for 19-year old Dwight Gooden to be in his starting rotation weeks before Spring Training started during the 1984 season?

I remember that working out really well.