The Astros have reportedly made a pair of moves aimed at improving the bullpen. First, they agreed to terms with right-hander Chad Qualls to a two-year, $6-million deal, and then, as Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports, they locked up right-hander Matt Albers with a one-year pact worth $2.45 million.
Qualls, 35, last season pitched to a 2.61 ERA and 2.58 K/BB ratio in 62 innings for the Marlins. For his career, Qualls owns an ERA+ of 112 across parts of the 10 major-league seasons. As for Albers, the 30-year-old notched a 3.14 ERA and 1.52 K/BB ratio in 63 innings for the Indians in 2013. Over the course of his eight-year major-league career, he's logged a 96 ERA+. Each pitcher boasts strong groundball tendencies.
Also of note is that Qualls was originally a second-round pick of the Astros back in 2000, and he spent the first four seasons of his big-league career in Houston. Albers, meanwhile, is a native of nearby Sugar Land, Texas.