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Astros closer Chad Qualls claimed off revocable waivers

Aug 25, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT

Chad Qualls Getty Getty Images

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Astros closer Chad Qualls has been claimed off revocable waivers by an unidentified team.

It’s unclear whether the Astros actually intend to deal Qualls, but Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow indicated last month that he would have to be overwhelmed. Either way, they have until Wednesday to make a decision. They can trade him to the claiming team, let him go to the claiming team for nothing (which is highly unlikely), or simply pull him back. Of course, if he’s pulled back, he’s ineligible to be traded for the rest of the season.

Qualls has quietly been very effective as Houston’s closer this season, posting a 3.07 ERA and 38/5 K/BB ratio over 44 innings while going 14-for-17 in save opportunities. The 36-year-old is owed $3 million next season and his contract includes a $3.5 million club option for 2016, which looks like a nice bargain at the moment. Still, the Astros could potentially sell high and get a nice prospect or two in return from a contender.

  1. areyesrn - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    this guy should not be in the league anymore…should be in Japan…or independent ball like the Newark Bears

    • dan1111 - Aug 26, 2014 at 6:06 AM

      Yes, that is just what his well-above-average performance over the last two seasons indicates.

  2. papacrick - Aug 25, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    How does a closer end up with only 17 save opps this late in the season? Seems impossible even for the worst of teams. Three blown is not a good ratio either despite the solid ERA

    • slappymcknucklepunch - Aug 25, 2014 at 11:50 PM

      Ummmmnnn…. Maybe he plays for the Astros?

    • jeffa43 - Aug 26, 2014 at 2:12 AM

      Wow … Man…. Really….

      Let’s see, hmmmm, injury…

      Maybe he was not the closer all year…

      Maybe both?

      Maybe he was the setup guy?

      Possibilities are endless..

      For the record, the Stros are a volcano my friends..
      Powerful, fast, with good pitching..

      Qual$.. Included.

  3. dan1111 - Aug 26, 2014 at 6:09 AM

    Luhnow’s claim that he will have to be “overwhelmed” is a nice story, but does anyone believe it? Qualls has “sell high” written all over him.

    However, with a contract that cheap, they are unlikely to trade him until after the season. It will be impossible to get him through waivers.

    • stex52 - Aug 26, 2014 at 8:56 AM

      If I were Luhnow I would have a serious heart-to-heart with the claiming team. It’s tough because the Astros’ bullpen is such a nightmare. But Qualls year-to-year is a gamble at this age. And he brings just a little too much “excitement” to the role.

      The bullpen needs a rebuild in the off-season anyway. Qualls by himself is not the answer. See what you can get for him. And see if some of these young stud fastballers at OKC can slip into the bullpen next year.

      • dan1111 - Aug 26, 2014 at 10:27 AM

        He’s under control for two more years, so they can always wait and trade him in the offseason (I see the Tigers have claimed him. Will it amount to anything? Who knows.)

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