The Graveman trade hurts, but don’t discount the return

by Nate Alexander

The Mariners front office has been known to break the hearts of their own team and fans. That was the case once again Tuesday in Seattle immediately before the Mariners took on the division-leading Houston Astros. Roughly two hours before first pitch, the Twitterverse blew up with the news that Kendall Graveman was sent across the foul lines to the Astros for infielder Abraham Toro and reliever Joe Smith.

Fans, players, and the rest of MLB seemed to be perplexed at the move by Dipoto and company. On the surface, it does not make any sense, but after doing some grieving and soul searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that the move, as much as I don’t like it, makes sense.

Graveman is set to be a free agent at the end of the season. He has appeared in 30 games this season, averaging of eight games per month, adding a game to that average for his time on the 10-day IL. With 2 full months remaining, at his current play rate, he has 16-20 games left—so roughly 25 innings.

We, as fans, should not discount or minimize the efforts of the rest of that bullpen. JT Chargois, Keynan Middleton, Anthony Misiewicz, Drew Steckenrider, and Paul Sewald have done a fantastic job holding games down. Sewald also has what it takes to be the new closer for the Mariners, if they don’t go out and pick another up—which I think they will.

Abraham Toro, if he remains in Seattle, you’ll get years of production—hopefully. His bat is showing promise, but has yet to fully develop at the Major League level. With only 110 at-bats this season, he is hitting .218 with 7 HRs while driving in 22. Last night I didn’t even think he would even put on a Mariners uniform, yet alone get his first hit and homerun with one swing of the bat against his former ball club.

In the 6th inning of last night’s game, news broke that Tyler Anderson’s trade deal with the Phillies fell through and the Mariners ended up acquiring Anderson for prospects C Carter Bins and RHP Joaquin Tejada.

Scott Servais no longer has to use the bullpen to start on day five of the rotation, which eases the burden on the bullpen.

Anderson is having an average year. The 2011 Colorado Rockies first rounder and 20th overall pick has appeared in 18 games and has a 5-8 record and a 4.53 ERA this season. He has ties to the Pacific Northwest as he played college ball at Oregon–his nickname is Mr. Duck.

Overall, the Graveman trade makes sense. The timing was impeccably terrible and the team he was sent to isn’t worthy. To win back the fans and some of those in the clubhouse, Jerry and company need to complete a deal that blows the doors off their hinges. I think we will see something in the upcoming 48 hours.

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