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Houston Astros acquire Kendall Graveman from Seattle Mariners

Jul 23, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Kendall Graveman (49) throws against the Oakland Athletics during the ninth inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 23, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Kendall Graveman (49) throws against the Oakland Athletics during the ninth inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners traded right-handed relief pitchers Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero within their division to the Houston Astros on Tuesday in exchange for third baseman Abraham Toro and right-handed reliever Joe Smith.

The two American League West teams, both vying for playoff berths, are in the midst of a three-game series in Seattle. The Mariners said that Toro and Smith would be in uniform and available for Tuesday’s game; Toro hit a home run for Houston on Monday.

The biggest piece of the trade was Graveman, the owner of a 0.82 ERA over 30 appearances out of the Mariners’ bullpen. Graveman also has a 4-0 record on the year, has recorded 10 saves in 12 opportunities and has 34 strikeouts in 33 innings of work.

The Seattle Times reported that the news of Graveman’s departure “did not go over well” with Mariners players.

Montero has pitched in 40 games for the Mariners this season to a 5-3 record with seven saves and a 7.27 ERA. He was designated for assignment by Seattle on July 23.

Toro, 24, is in his third major league season but has only appeared in 93 career games for the Astros. In 2021, he has already achieved career highs in home runs (six) and RBIs (20) while batting .211.

Smith, 37, will join his seventh MLB club after stints with the New York Mets, Cleveland Indians (twice), Los Angeles Angels, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays and Houston. This year, Smith is 1-1 with a 7.48 ERA in 27 games.

“Adding a young Major Leaguer like Abraham, as well as the veteran presence and experience of Joe Smith is a move we feel makes us a deeper team today, as well as moving forward,” Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement.

The Astros entered Tuesday at 61-40 with a five-game lead in the AL West. The Mariners, at 55-46, were in third place six games behind Houston but only trailed the Oakland Athletics by one game for the league’s second wild-card slot.

–Field Level Media