Astros trade for relievers Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero

Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Astros join the trade talks, as they land two relievers from the Mariners.

The Houston Astros traded for Seattle Mariners Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero, before Tuesday’s matchup. The return has been reported as Joe Smith and Abraham Toro, as the two were seen exiting the visitor’s clubhouse and warming up with Seattle.

While Houston was eyeing a high-leverage reliever at the deadline, they found that in Graveman, who has a 0.82 ERA over 33 innings this season. The elite closer was traded mid-series within the division, as the Mariners are eyeing a postseason slot. Manager Dusty Baker still plans to use Ryan Pressly as the go-to closer.

This seems like a weird way to go about things for Seattle, but they do land a possible everyday infielder in Toro. The switch-hitter has proven he can play a large chunk of an MLB season, especially with his third base and first base gloves but could most likely play first and second base.

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For Smith, the right-hander has struggled all season and with a larger contract than that of other Houston relievers, Seattle will be picking up a prorated salary that could benefit the Astros’ payroll.

While Montero was DFA’d recently, the right-hander looks to be a throw-in, as Graveman has been a highly sought-out reliever. If he doesn’t pan out, then they can move on from him pretty easily, but both Graveman and Montero will make the 40-man roster without corresponding moves.

After receiving a player in a trade, the team has three days to activate them. Montero will travel to Seattle to throw a bullpen for the Astros on Wednesday and see if they activate him for the game. The ball club has made its first big trade under the regime of general manager James Click, but they should still explore another move with the deadline on Friday.

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