Each team in Major League Baseball’s playoff race has a couple of narratives accompanying their efforts. Whether it be a player, a coach, or a portion of their roster, each team has their talking points for the season.
Sometimes these narratives end up mattering in the final outcomes of the season, and sometimes they fade behind other issues. As far as the Detroit Tigers are concerned in 2014, one of the prevailing stories is their bullpen. Specifically, the fact that the Tigers’ bullpen has been pretty darn bad all season.
They signed Joe Nathan this past off-season to be their closer. That move has yielded mixed results at best. They acquired Joakim Soria in a trade. He got hurt. The search for bullpen help continues in Detroit, and at this point it looks like it might be their undoing.
Trying desperately to remedy that situation, the Tigers put in a claim on Houston Astros’ reliever Chad Qualls this week. That gave them a window in which to execute a trade for him, but according to Jason Beck of MLB.com, that deal is unlikely to come:
Under terms of revocable waivers, the Astros have 48 hours (thus, until Wednesday) to work out a trade, pull Qualls back off waivers or let him go to the Tigers. The third option is a virtual certainty not to happen. Detroit must put together a deal, or Houston has to hold onto Qualls for the rest of the season.
As of Tuesday evening, indications suggest the Astros are not inclined to move Qualls.
In 49 games this season, Qualls is 1-3 with a 3.07 ERA and 14 saves. He would have presented a significant upgrade to the Detroit bullpen, but it looks like they will have to turn elsewhere as they try to stay afloat in the playoff picture.