Astros decline 2016 option on Chad Qualls

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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.

Braves sign veteran right-hander Tomlin to minor league deal

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The Atlanta Braves have signed right-hander Josh Tomlin to a minor league contract with an invitation to the team’s major league camp.

The 34-year-old Tomlin, who was released by Milwaukee on Wednesday, had a 6.14 ERA in 32 games, including nine starts, with Cleveland in 2018. Tomlin was 61-53 with a 4.77 ERA in nine seasons with the Indians.

Tomlin was 2-1 with a 4.80 ERA in five games with the Brewers this spring after joining the team on a minor league deal.

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