Yesterday Chad Qualls was claimed off revocable waivers by an unidentified team. Today the team has been identified: the Detroit Tigers.
Qualls has posted a 3.07 ERA and 38/5 K/BB ratio over 44 innings while going 14-for-17 in save opportunities. He’s under contract for $3 million next season and there’s a $3.5 million club option. It’s doubtful, however, that the Astros would simply let him go on waivers, and they are on record saying that it would take a nice haul in return for them to let him go.
The Tigers, of course, have perpetual bullpen problems and have decided that throwing anyone who has ever sniffed the eighth or ninth inning at the problem is the best way to solve it. It may be the only way for them solve it, actually, although it’s unclear whether they have anything Houston wants in return.
The teams have until sometime tomorrow to complete a trade. Though the Astros could, of course, pull Qualls off waivers at any time.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.
Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.
Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.