Houston has declined its $3.5 million option on Chad Qualls for 2016, buying out the veteran right-hander for $250,000.
Qualls was effective in his second go-around with the Astros, posting a 3.84 ERA and 89/14 K/BB ratio in 101 innings during the past two seasons, but he struggled down the stretch this year and was left off the team’s playoff roster.
Qualls had his highest strikeout rate since 2008 and issued a grand total of eight non-intentional walks in 49 innings this season, so even at age 37 he should be able to generate some decent one-year offers as a free agent.
Former MLB player and manager Brad Ausmus will manage the Angels in 2019, the team announced Sunday. His contract will extend through the 2021 season, though it’s not clear whether a club option exists for 2022. A formal press conference will be held on Monday at 1:00 PM PDT to introduce the new skipper.
Angels general manager Billy Eppler gave a statement following Ausmus’ hiring:
Ausmus, 49, was also considered for a managerial role with the Reds prior to their hiring of David Bell on Sunday. He’ll replace longtime manager Mike Scioscia, who finished his 19th and final campaign with the club on the last day of the 2018 season.
A former catcher and three-time Gold Glove Award winner, Ausmus capped his 18-year MLB playing career in 2010. He managed the Tigers from 2014 to 2017, during which he guided the club to a 314-332 record and a postseason berth in 2014. After the Tigers declined to offer the skipper an extension in 2018, he was hired as a special assistant to the Angels’ general manager, and remained in that role for the duration of the regular season.