Free agent right-handed relief pitcher Chad Qualls has signed a two year contract with a club option for a third with the Houston Astros, according to MLB.com Astros beat writer Brian McTaggart.
The deal is said to be worth $6 million over the first two years with the third year option for $3.5 million.
Qualls, 35, pitched the first four years of his career in Houston. He appeared in 262 games for the Astros while posting a 3.39 ERA over 284 innings pitched.
Since leaving Houston in early 2007 via a trade that brought Jose Valverde to the Astros, Qualls has appeared out of the bullpen for seven different teams.
This past season, Qualls posted the best full season ERA of his career for the Miami Marlins at 2.61 in 66 appearances and 62 IP.
“Improving our bullpen is a top priority this offseason,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said, according to McTaggart. “Bringing Chad back to Houston is a big step in that direction.”
Luhnow also says that the Astros are looking to add another bullpen arm “along the same lines of Qualls”.
Houston has also added outfielder Dexter Fowler and right handed pitcher Scott Feldman in recent days. The Astros were a Major League Baseball worst 51-111 in 2013.