Did the Astros Trade Kendall Graveman?

Frank Jones

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The Houston Astros made a significant move to bolster their bullpen when they traded for relief pitcher Kendall Graveman from the Seattle Mariners on July 27, 2021. Graveman was expected to play a key role for the Astros as they pursued a playoff spot in the second half of the season.

However, in the months since the trade, there have been rumors and speculation about whether the Astros might consider trading Graveman again.

In this blog post, we’ll explore whether or not the Astros traded Kendall Graveman, as well as his performance with the team and any rumors surrounding his potential departure.

The Trade

The trade that brought Kendall Graveman to the Houston Astros from the Seattle Mariners was a significant move for the Astros to bolster their bullpen. In exchange for Graveman, the Astros sent reliever Joe Smith and infielder Abraham Toro to the Mariners.

Graveman was having an excellent season with the Mariners at the time of the trade, with a 0.82 ERA and 10 saves in 30 appearances. He was expected to provide a significant boost to the Astros’ bullpen, which had been struggling to close out games.

Fans and analysts had mixed reactions to the trade. Some were excited about the addition of Graveman and saw him as a crucial piece for the Astros’ playoff push. Others were critical of the move, questioning the value of giving up two players for a reliever, especially considering the Astros’ needs in other areas.

One factor that raised eyebrows among fans and analysts was the fact that Graveman had been a teammate of Astros’ second baseman Jose Altuve during the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.

Altuve had reportedly lobbied for the Astros to trade for Graveman, which some saw as a potential conflict of interest.

Despite the mixed reactions, the trade for Kendall Graveman was seen as a bold move by the Astros to improve their chances in the playoffs.

Graveman’s Performance With the Astros

Kendall Graveman made his Astros debut on July 30, 2021, just three days after the trade. He immediately made an impact, recording a save in his first appearance and helping the Astros to a 1-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

Graveman continued to pitch well in his first few weeks with the Astros, allowing just one run in his first nine appearances with the team.

Overall, Graveman’s performance with the Astros was solid. In 16 appearances with Houston, he posted a 3.00 ERA and recorded four saves.

He struck out 18 batters in 15 innings and allowed just four walks. Graveman’s ability to get ground balls was also valuable, as he induced 27 ground balls and allowed just one home run with the Astros.

While Graveman’s performance with the Astros was not as dominant as it was with the Mariners earlier in the season, he still provided a reliable option in the bullpen for the Astros.

His impact on the team was particularly felt during the playoffs, where he made five appearances and recorded a save. His performance in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Chicago White Sox was particularly notable, as he pitched a scoreless ninth inning to secure a 6-1 victory for the Astros.

Compared to expectations, Graveman’s performance with the Astros was solid, if not quite as dominant as his earlier stint with the Mariners.

However, he provided valuable innings for the Astros and was a reliable option out of the bullpen. Graveman’s performance with the Astros was consistent with his career numbers, as he has been a solid, reliable reliever throughout his career.

Rumors of a Potential Trade

After the Astros traded for Kendall Graveman, there were rumors and speculation about the possibility of the team trading him again. The speculation was fueled by a few factors, including Graveman’s contract status, his age, and his potential value to other teams.

One reason the Astros might consider trading Graveman is his contract status. Graveman signed a one-year deal with the Mariners prior to the 2021 season, and he will be a free agent at the end of the year. If the Astros do not believe they can re-sign him, they may be more willing to trade him in order to get value in return.

Another factor is Graveman’s age. At 30 years old, he is not a young player, and the Astros may be looking to get younger as they plan for the future. They could choose to trade Graveman for prospects or younger players who could contribute to the team for years to come.

Finally, Graveman’s value to other teams could make him an attractive trade target. As a reliable, veteran reliever with postseason experience, Graveman could be a valuable addition for a team looking to shore up its bullpen for a playoff run. The Astros could potentially get a significant return for Graveman if they choose to trade him.

While there were rumors and speculation about a potential trade, the Astros ultimately did not trade Kendall Graveman during the 2021 season.

However, with Graveman set to become a free agent at the end of the year, it remains to be seen whether the Astros will try to re-sign him or trade him before the 2022 season.

Kendall Graveman’s Performance With the Houston Astros in 2021

StatisticGraveman’s 2021 Performance
Strikeouts per 99.2
Walks per 92.6
Innings pitched27.0
Hits allowed per 95.3

Note: Statistics are accurate as of the end of the 2021 regular season.


Who did the Astros trade to acquire Kendall Graveman?

The Astros traded relief pitcher Joe Smith and infielder Abraham Toro to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Kendall Graveman and relief pitcher Rafael Montero.

How did Astros fans react to the trade for Kendall Graveman?

The trade received mixed reactions from Astros fans. Some were excited to see the team acquire a reliable reliever with postseason experience, while others were disappointed to see the team give up promising young talent in Abraham Toro.

Why did the Seattle Mariners trade Kendall Graveman to the Astros?

The Mariners were in the midst of a rebuild and saw an opportunity to acquire young talent in Abraham Toro while also shedding salary in the form of Kendall Graveman’s contract.

Was Kendall Graveman the only reliever the Astros acquired before the trade deadline?

No, in addition to Graveman, the Astros also acquired reliever Yimi Garcia from the Miami Marlins before the trade deadline.

Did the trade for Kendall Graveman ultimately pay off for the Astros?

It’s difficult to say definitively, but Graveman’s performance with the Astros was solid, and he played a role in the team’s postseason run. However, the Astros fell short of their ultimate goal of winning the World Series.


The Astros traded for Kendall Graveman in July 2021 in an effort to upgrade their bullpen. While there were rumors and speculation about the possibility of trading him again, Graveman ultimately remained with the team for the remainder of the season.

He provided solid innings out of the bullpen for the Astros, including during the playoffs. Graveman’s contract status and age could make him a potential trade target for the Astros in the future, but for now, he remains a valuable piece of the team’s bullpen.

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