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Astros bolster bullpen, get Mariners’ Graveman

7:30 PM ET

  • ESPN News Services

The Houston Astros have landed one of the top relievers in baseball, acquiring right-hander Kendall Graveman from the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday in a four-player intra-division trade while the teams were preparing to play each other.

Graveman and Rafael Montero were traded to Houston in exchange for infielder Abraham Toro and reliever Joe Smith.

Graveman, a 30-year-old right-hander, has been dominant this season with an 0.82 ERA in 33 innings pitched. He is 4-0 and has 10 saves this season.

General manager Jerry Dipoto told reporters that it’s likely the first of several moves the Mariners will make in the coming days with the hope of improving the big league club.

With Graveman gone, right-hander Paul Sewald, who is 6-2 with four saves and a 2.30 ERA in 31⅓ innings this season, will likely step into the closer’s role.

The Mariners had designated Montero for assignment on Friday. The 30-year-old right-hander is 5-3 with seven saves and a 7.27 ERA in 43⅓ innings this season.

Toro, 24, is in his third season and has played primarily third base, where the Mariners have veteran Kyle Seager entrenched. Toro has also played first base and has one game at second base this season, a position where the Mariners could be looking to upgrade before the trade deadline. He is hitting .211 with six home runs and 20 RBIs for the Astros this season.

Smith, a 37-year-old right-hander, is 1-1 with a career-worst 7.48 ERA in 21⅔ innings this season after not pitching during the 2020 season.

The trade comes a day after the Mariners rallied from a 7-0 deficit to stun the Astros 11-8. The surprising Mariners enter Tuesday just six games behind the Astros in the American League West standings.

The Mariners and Astros continue their series in Seattle on Tuesday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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