Today the Houston Astros have announced a two-year pact worth $6 million with the veteran right-handed reliever Chad Qualls. Ken Rosenthal tweets that the contract also includes a club option for $3.5 million for 2016. Qualls began his career with the Astros and pitched from 2004 through the 2007 season before being involved in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks for closer Jose Valverde.
With the annual Winter Meetings commencing this coming Monday in Florida, Jeff Luhnow is certainly addressing needs ahead of schedule. Acquiring Dexter Fowler and Scott Feldman filled the Astros’ needs for an outfield bat and a veteran starter. Adding Qualls to the picture with a 2-year contract is a step forward to creating a respectable bullpen. The reliever has pitched in the major leagues for ten seasons and most recently posted a 2.61 ERA in 62 innings for the Miami Marlins in the 2013 season.
Through his 10 year career, the veteran has posted a 3.79 ERA with 51 saves. He may be a converted closer in 2014 similar to what the Astros did with Jose Veras during the 2013 season.