Astros trade for Mariners’ Kendall Graveman

SEATTLE — The Houston Astros have landed one of many prime relievers in baseball, buying right-hander Kendall Graveman from the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday in an odd intra-division trade whereas the groups had been getting ready to play one another.

Graveman and Rafael Montero are going to the AL West-leading Astros with infielder Abraham Toro and reliever Joe Smith going again to Seattle.

A teary Graveman mentioned he was shocked by the trade, and had assumed he could be sticking with the Mariners, who’d received 4 straight in opposition to divisional opponents in gritty vogue.

“I didn’t see it coming, but there’s always that percent of, ‘This game’s a business,’” Graveman mentioned as he stood in entrance of the Astros dugout. “I’m speaking truth and honest, the way I felt is, (we’re) nine games over .500 over on that side and playing pretty good ball while I was there. That takes away from the last five days, honestly, I think. But we’ll see if they bounce back.”

The transfer bolsters a Houston bullpen that has struggled at occasions and has an ERA above 4.00 this season.

“We are always looking to improve all aspects of the roster,” Astros common supervisor James Click mentioned. “This one happens to be focused on the bullpen. But we’re not going to take any options off the table when it comes to trying to put ourselves in a position to compete for a World Series.”

Kendall Graveman
Kendall Graveman
Getty Images

Graveman is 4-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 10 saves in 30 appearances this 12 months. He missed practically a month attributable to COVID-19 protocols in May and June, however has been dominant on the mound. Graveman has not allowed an earned run in his previous 12 appearances.

On the floor it seems a baffling choice by Seattle to surrender its most dominant reliever whereas failing to fill a place of want with the Mariners only one sport behind Oakland within the AL wild-card race — the Astros lead the A’s by 5 video games.

Graveman mentioned his former teammates took information of the trade exhausting and there was speedy confusion amongst gamers, followers and observers about Mariners common supervisor Jerry Dipoto’s transfer.

The first query to Dipoto in his post-trade information convention: How does this trade make sense to the Mariners?

“It probably doesn’t as a standalone, but it’s part of a context that’s going to be an ongoing story over the next couple of days” because the trade deadline nears, Dipoto mentioned.

“What comes next could be as early as tonight or tomorrow because we do plan on being active,” he added.

Houston supervisor Dusty Baker mentioned for now he views Ryan Pressly as his nearer, however wouldn’t hesitate turning to Graveman.

“In modern times it seems like most teams are trading to try to win the deal, but this is a trade that is going to benefit both,” Baker mentioned.

Montero was designated for project by the Mariners final week after being acquired within the offseason from Texas. Smith has a career-worst 7.48 ERA in 27 video games for the Astros after not pitching in the course of the 2020 season.

Toro discovered of the trade in the course of his spherical within the batting cage.

“And I just walked right over here,” Toro mentioned.

He then stepped into the batting cage to renew his warmups with a brand new uniform prime.

Toro is in his third season and has performed primarily third base, the place the Mariners have veteran Kyle Seager entrenched. Toro has additionally performed first base and has one sport at second base this season, a place the place the Mariners could possibly be trying to improve earlier than the trade deadline.

Toro is hitting .211 with six homers and 20 RBIs in 35 video games this season.

“They’re hungry – yesterday we all saw it,” Toro mentioned of Seattle’s 11-8, come-from-behind win over the Astros on Monday. “They were losing 7-0 and came back. These guys are hungry.”

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