SEATTLE — The Houston Astros have landed one of many high relievers in baseball, buying right-hander Kendall Graveman from the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday in an odd intra-division commerce whereas the groups had been making 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 commerce, and had assumed he can be sticking with the Mariners, who’d received 4 straight towards divisional opponents in gritty trend.
“I didn’t see it coming, however there’s at all times that p.c of, ‘This recreation’s a enterprise,’” Graveman mentioned as he stood in entrance of the Astros dugout. “I’m talking fact and sincere, the best way I felt is, (we’re) 9 video games over .500 over on that facet and taking part in fairly good ball whereas I used to be there. That takes away from the final 5 days, actually, I believe. However we’ll see in the event that they bounce again.”
The transfer bolsters a Houston bullpen that has struggled at occasions and has an ERA above 4.00 this season.
“We’re at all times trying to enhance all features of the roster,” Astros basic supervisor James Click on mentioned. “This one occurs to be targeted on the bullpen. However we’re not going to take any choices off the desk in the case of attempting to place ourselves able to compete for a World Sequence.”
Graveman is 4-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 10 saves in 30 appearances this 12 months. He missed practically a month resulting from COVID-19 protocols in Might 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 recreation 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 commerce exhausting and there was rapid confusion amongst gamers, followers and observers about Mariners basic supervisor Jerry Dipoto’s transfer.
The primary query to Dipoto in his post-trade information convention: How does this commerce make sense to the Mariners?
“It in all probability doesn’t as a standalone, but it surely’s a part of a context that’s going to be an ongoing story over the following couple of days” because the commerce deadline nears, Dipoto mentioned.
“What comes subsequent might be as early as tonight or tomorrow as a result of we do plan on being lively,” he added.
Houston supervisor Dusty Baker mentioned for now he views Ryan Pressly as his nearer, however wouldn’t hesitate turning to Graveman.
“In fashionable occasions it looks like most groups are buying and selling to attempt to win the deal, however it is a commerce that’s going to profit each,” 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 commerce in the course of his spherical within the batting cage.
“And I simply walked proper over right here,” Toro mentioned.
He then stepped into the batting cage to renew his warmups with a brand new uniform high.
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 recreation at second base this season, a place the place the Mariners might be trying to improve earlier than the commerce deadline.
Toro is hitting .211 with six homers and 20 RBIs in 35 video games this season.
“They’re hungry – yesterday all of us noticed it,” Toro mentioned of Seattle’s 11-8, come-from-behind win over the Astros on Monday. “They had been dropping 7-0 and got here again. These guys are hungry.”