The Astros have made their first leap into the relief pitcher market by bringing back former Astros reliever, Chad Qualls.
Qualls posted a 2.61 ERA over 66 innings last year for the Miami Marlins. He continued to show good control out of the pen with a 2.76 BB/9 and his SO/9 of 7.11 was the best since 2010. But, he also had the best GB% of his career with a 63% GB rate.
Qualls was originally drafted in 2000 by the Astros in the second round and debuted for them in 2004 and left after the 2007 season.
The deal is reportedly worth 9.5 million over two years and includes a club option for the 2016 season. Ken Rosenthal also reports that there are incentives included in the contract as well that could increase the value of the contract.
Here is a quote from Astros GM, Jeff Luhnow,
"Improving our bullpen is a top priority this offseason," said Luhnow. "Bringing Chad back to Houston is a big step in that direction."
Welcome back Chad Qualls!
Correction: Value of Qualls deal with #Astros is $6M over two years. Option for third year is $3.5M.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 7, 2013
That makes this deal look better from a financial standpoint.