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Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners deal shows how crazy MLB trade deadline can get

MLB: Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Two American League West rivals in that of the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners are set to play in the Pacific Northwest Tuesday evening, mere days ahead of the 2021 MLB trade deadline.

In a sign that said trade deadline can get crazy, Houston Astros infielder Abraham Toro was seen entering the field for pre-game warm-ups wearing Seattle Mariners gear. This wasn’t a mistake on the part of the 24-year-old Toro. He didn’t simply go to the wrong clubhouse and put on an opposing teams’ uniform.

Rather, news was breaking at the time that Toro had in fact been dealt from Houston to Seattle with reliever Joe Smith for pitchers Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero. Again, this is not a drill.

It’s not too often that two division rivals in the midst of a playoff race pull off a trade of this ilk. What are the chances that it happens hours before the teams were set to play?

In terms of the specifics, the Houston Astros upgrade their bullpen by adding the 30-year-old Graveman to the mix. He’s pitching to a 4-0 record with a 0.82 ERA and 0.69 WHIP in 30 games this season.

The other headliner in this deal is Joe Smith. While the 15-year veteran has struggled to the tune of a 7.48 ERA this season, he did pitch to a 1.80 ERAA and 0.96 WHIP with Houston in 2019 (sat out 2020 due to COVID-19).

As for Toro, he was hitting a mere .211 with six homers and 20 RBI with the Houston Astros at the time of the trade.