Astros land Graveman, Montero from Mariners for Toro, Smith

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The Seattle Mariners traded closer Kendall Graveman and reliever Rafael Montero to the Houston Astros for infielder Abraham Toro and right-hander Joe Smith, the team announced Tuesday.

The trade comes with the two AL West rivals in the middle of a series against one another, and a day after the Mariners stormed back to beat the Astros 11-8, erasing a six-run first-inning deficit in the process.

Graveman has emerged as a top reliever this season, posting a 0.82 ERA and 0.70 WHIP while notching 10 saves as Seattle's closer.

The 30-year-old took over the ninth-inning role from Montero, who struggled to the point of being designated for assignment last week.

Toro, 24, is batting .211/.287/.385 with six home runs in 35 games with the Astros this season. Smith, meanwhile, owns a 7.48 ERA and 1.80 WHIP over 21 2/3 innings this season.

The move may not have been popular among Seattle's players.

General manager Jerry Dipoto said he understands the reaction but added he thinks players will see that this is part of a plan to improve the team this season, according to the Seattle Times' Ryan Divish.

Dipoto added while the trade may seem confusing at the moment, it will make sense with the moves that are expected to follow, Divish notes.

The Mariners have won four straight contests and are a game back in the AL wild-card race. They've also been rumored to be interested in trading for Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield.

Astros land Graveman, Montero from Mariners for Toro, Smith
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