The Houston Astros have added some bullpen help. Astros owner Jim Crane came out weeks ago and said he would be open to going over the Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) to acquire players that would be beneficial in helping the Astros win their second World Series championship. On Tuesday, the Astros did just that as the team traded Abraham Toro and Joe Smith to the Seattle Mariners for relievers Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero.
Astros Add Bullpen Depth
The Astros have needed to add some bullpen depth for quite some time now. With the recent implosion that was blowing a seven-run lead only to lose the game with a final score of 11-8 against the Mariners, the Astros went out added a couple of keys pieces that will help this bullpen get back on track.
The Astros went out and traded for RHP Kendall Graveman to help get this bullpen back on track. Since coming into the league in 2014, Graveman has had some up and down seasons, but 2021 has been good to Graveman so far with a 0.82 ERA in 30-games this season, not to mention his 10 saves in 33 innings pitched. Graveman is one of the best acquisitions this trade season as opposing teams have a combined .136 batting average against him. It will be interesting to see how the Astros use Graveman as they already have a closer in Ryan Pressly.
The second player the Astros traded for was RHP Rafael Montero. Like Graveman, Montero entered the league in 2014 and has also had some up and down seasons. On the season, Montero is 5-3 with a 7.27 ERA in 40 games. With 43.1 innings pitched, Montero has 37 strikeouts with seven saves. The concerning part with Montero is that the opposing hitters have a league average of .311 against him. Although this might be worrisome for Astros fans, often, a player needs a change of scenery to get back on track.
With days remaining until the trade deadline, the Astros may not be done shopping the market. With the possibility of adding starting pitcher, the Astros may be looking to solidify the rotation as we get closer and closer to October baseball.
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