There has been some significant interest in relief pitcher Chad Qualls as the MLB trade deadline draws near. The Houston Astros have come out and said they do not plan on trading the late-inning veteran and would have to get an offer for him that couldn’t be refused. If the team thinks they are going to be in a position to compete for a division title either this year or next, keeping the 35 year-old right-hander might not be a bad move. The team will need a veteran presence in the bullpen.
As the Astros transition into a youthful roster, Qualls could be very valuable if he sticks with the Astros until his career is over. General manager Jeff Luhnow has come out and said that it is unlikely that Qualls will be traded unless they are “blown away by an offer.” This gives the young guys like Michael Foltynewicz, Asher Wojiechowski, Nick Tropeano and Tommy Shirley a player to look up to in the bullpen. Qualls would be a player to help ease their transition to the major leagues with the advice only a veteran can provide.
Qualls has had a career rejuvenation in Houston this year. His ERA is a stellar 1.78 in his 35 innings pitched. He is only walking an average of one batter per nine innings along with striking out almost either per nine. He is enjoying the best year of his career and is the only stable arm in the Astros’ bullpen. If the Astros are going to compete next season, they will need Qualls to be at his best on the field, but also teaching the young pitchers how to become proper major-leaguers as well.