In a move that comes as a surprise to no one, the Tigers have been awarded a revocable trade waiver claim on Astros' reliever Chad Qualls, as reported by Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com earlier today. The teams now have until 1:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday to work out a trade that would send Qualls to Detroit.
Qualls, who recently turned 36, would be a much-needed addition to a Tigers' bullpen that currently ranks 28th in the majors with a 4.55 ERA mark. The right-hander has had a bit of a career resurrection with Houston this season, posting a 3.07 ERA and recording 14 saves while making 49 appearances as the team's primary closer. He is under team control for next season at $3 million and also has a $3.5 team option for 2016, meaning that the Tigers would be able to keep him in Detroit for the next two seasons if they wished.
The Astros' bullpen has struggled all season as well as they have tried to integrate young arms into the group, and would likely be well-served by moving Qualls to give some other young pitchers a chance to compete as rosters expand on September 1. They could look to move Qualls this offseason in an effort to get more value back for him, or could capitalize on the Tigers' glaring need for bullpen help by making them pay a high price within the next 24 hours.