The Houston Astros knew that they had to add a reliever to two to help their bullpen. They knew they had to make a move or two before the end of the Major League Baseball trade deadline on Friday. Well on Tuesday three days before the deadline, they did just that. The Astros acquired Kendall Graveman, one of the top relievers in baseball, and Rafael Montero from the Seattle Mariners for infielder Abraham Toro and reliever Joe Smith. The move will help to improve an Astros bullpen who has an ERA over 4.00 this season and who could not protect the lead on Monday night.
Graveman is having a great season in 2021. He is 4-0, with a 0.82 ERA, and 10 saves in 20 appearances. More good news for Astros fans is that Graveman has not allowed an earned run in his last 12 appearances. Ryan Pressly is currently the closer and has been great in that role as he is 4-1, with a 1.88 ERA, and 18 saves. After the trade, manager Dusty Baker said that he still views Pressly as his closer for now, but he did not rule out turning to Graveman.
After making that big move, the Astros did not stop there, as they made another trade on Wednesday to acquire Miami Marlins closer Yimi Garcia. The Marlins will receive outfielder Bryan De La Cruz and right-hander Austin Pruit. Garcia was 3-7, with a 3.47 ERA, and 15 saves this season with Miami. Garcia and Graveman will no doubt help to shore up a struggling Astros bullpen. Both were the closers for their respective teams before they were traded.
The Astros have addressed their bullpen with these trades but they could still make another move before the deadline on Friday. Craig Kimbrel is still available to trade for. They could also decide to add another bat to an already potent lineup. Will the Astros make another big move before then? We will soon find out. The clock is ticking.