Now there’s a weird one. Not only are these two teams in the same division, but they are currently separated by just 6.0 games in the standings. And yet they just executed a trade to help each other win this year.
The Astros get their closer(?) – so consider them out on Craig Kimbrel? or not? – but it’s a weird trade:
Source: The Astros have traded IF Abraham Toro and RHP Joe Smith for RHP Kendal Graveman and RHP Rafael Montero of the Mariners.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) July 27, 2021
So that’s Graveman, who has been fantastic this year as a part-time closer for the Mariners, now heading into the back of the Astros’ bullpen. They also get Montero, who has pitched to terrible results this year, but with decent peripherals.
In return, the Mariners get Toro, an interesting young utility type (mostly third base) who hasn’t quite established himself yet, and Joe Smith, who has kinda had a year like Montero. This is just a little weird, and it certainly seems like not a real ‘sell’ trade by the Mariners, who are just a game out of the Wild Card. I’m gonna guess they’ll also do some buying?
In any case, Graveman is now off the market, and although he wasn’t in Kimbrel’s tier, he was something of cheaper competition. The Astros could’ve been in on Kimbrel – still could be, I suppose – but this probably softens their interest considerably. I mean, I guess Graveman could set up for Ryan Pressly, in which case the Astros could still be looking for an impact closer like Kimbrel – what a trio that would be!
I’m just kinda thrown by this one. Not sure how to think about it, but that’s Jerry Dipoto for you. Is there another reliever on the way for them? Is that the explanation?
But, uh, yeah, I would think this would be an issue:
Sources said the news of Graveman being traded to the Astros did not go over well in the Mariners clubhouse.
— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) July 27, 2021