Astros: 4 relievers *not named Craig Kimbrel* to trade for

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Houston Astros, Kendall Graveman
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Kendall Graveman

The 30-year-old right hander has been terrific in 2021, two years removed from his 2019 Tommy John surgery. Kendall Graveman is posting a 0.82 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP in 33 innings so far this year as the Mariners’ primary eighth-and-ninth inning option. Graveman is posting a career-high in strikeouts per nine (9.3) and a career-low in both walks per nine (2.3) and hits per nine (4.1).

Gravemen has been straight-up filthy this year. His primary pitch – sinker (60% usage) – hangs in the mid-90s MPH and is generating a .111 opponent batting average. His knockout pitch – the slider – is generating a 45% whiff rate. He has been destroying righty-hitters (.079 BA, .214 OPS) and has only allowed 4 extra base hits all season. No one on Houston’s team (except for perhaps Ryan Pressly) has stats anywhere near this dominant throughout the season. Plugging Graveman into those high-leverage innings with a lead would be a dream for Houston.

However, since Seattle has played so well recently, they may no longer be sellers at the deadline. The Mariners have been the best team in baseball over the last 30 days and appear to be inching closer and closer to Oakland for one of the wild-card spots.  And even if they do decide to be sellers, it’s also hard to imagine Seattle giving Graveman to a division rival, but hey stranger things have happened.