The Houston Astros signed relief pitcher Chad Qualls to a two-year, $6 million contract on Saturday, via Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The contract has a club option for a third year at $3.5 million, according to Rosenthal.
The 35-year-old Qualls spent 2013 with the Miami Marlins. He appeared in 66 games for Miami, posting a 2.61 ERA in 62 innings of work while racking up a 2.58 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The right-hander has pitched to a 3.79 ERA during his 10-year career, putting together a 2.74 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 663 games and recording 51 saves.
Qualls has pitched for eight teams in his career, and this will be his second stint with Houston. He was drafted by the Astros in the second round in 2000, and spent his first four major league seasons with the team from 2004 to 2007. In that time, he posted a 3.39 ERA in 262 appearances and never had an ERA higher than 3.76 in any one season in Houston.
The Astros have added several pitchers this winter in an effort to bolster a staff that owned an MLB-worst 4.79 ERA in 2013. They signed starter Scott Feldman to a three-year contract on Friday, and claimed left-handed relievers Raul Valdes and Darin Downs off of waivers from the Phillies and Tigers, respectively.