The A's are one of six teams with legitimate interest in Chad Qualls, the reliever's agent told Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group (Twitter links). Alan Hendricks acknowledged that he has spoken with the Athletics, but says no "substantial" discussions have taken place yet. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier today that the A's will look at Qualls and Hideki Okajima.
Qualls will not cost a draft pick since he is a Type B free agent, but the Rays will receive an extra 2011 selection if the right-hander signs a big league deal elsewhere, since he turned down their offer of arbitration. In 59 innings for the D'Backs and Rays last year, Qualls posted a 7.32 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9.
The Mets, Twins and Rockies have been linked to the 32-year-old this offseason, but it seems unlikely that the Rockies will sign Qualls now that they have obtained Matt Lindstrom. The Royals, Orioles, Mariners, Nationals, Pirates, Blue Jays and Rays could also be on the lookout for right-handed relief help.