Houston Astros Bring Back Kendall Graveman

The Houston Astros bring back Kendal Graveman
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The Houston Astros bring back Kendal Graveman. The relief pitcher comes back to them in a trade with the Chicago White Sox. In return the White Sox will get former first round pick catcher Korey Lee. This is the third trade for the White Sox over the past 48 hours. Graveman reunites with the Astros for the second time in three years, having acquired him prior to the 2021 deadline. He was very effective down the stretch in a season that turned out to be his career best.

Solid ’23 Season

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Currently Graveman is in the midst of a solid season with a 3.48 ERA through 44 innings with eight saves and eight holds. He is an excellent ground-ball rate pitcher and is effective with both left and right-handed batters and was called upon by the White Sox as their main high-leverage bullpen arm.

Graveman joins an Astros bullpen that has been somewhat reliable according to the latest Reliever Roundup and Bullpen Bonanza. He adds another experienced arm to a bullpen featuring Bryan Abreu, Phil Maton, Hector Neris, and Ryne Stanek. With his closing experience, it will provide the team an alternative when Ryan Pressly is not available.

White Sox Receive

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The Houston Astros bring back Kendal Graveman while White Sox receive in return a catcher who brings a lot of upside. In the 2019 MLB Draft Lee was the 32nd overall pick. There have been no questions about his arm strength at throwing out runners and he has worked on his bat speed and selection of pitches.

The recently acquired catcher Edgar Quero could mean that Lee might be used at first base. He played that position along with third base in the minors. He also has some experience at the big-league level having appeared in 12 games last season with the Astros—though he hit only .160 in 25 at-bats.

More Moves

The Houston Astros bring back Kendal Graveman and we could see them make more trades before the MLB trade deadline. They trail the Texas Rangers in the AL West and are currently second for a Wild Card spot. They might be willing to pay a big price to find another starting pitcher and maybe a left-handed bat in order to give them the support needed to win the playoff spot.

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However, being aggressive will be challenging for them with multiple teams seeking the same thing. We have seen General Manager Dana Brown make some clever moves before, but this time around his current needs could potentially cost Astros top prospects—and with a farm system ranked number 27 according to MLB.com, they really don’t have much to offer prospect-wise.

The team needs to decide whether to gamble its future on a “rental” player who will leave after the 2023 season has ended or make a run with what they have and hope their farm system and prospects can perform sooner rather than later. It will be interesting to see how the Astros proceed.

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James Marshall

James Marshall

Jim Marshall has lived in Phoenix, AZ for 50 years. He is an avid baseball fan, but enjoys all of Arizona's local sports teams, including Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes. In addition to the four major sports, he closely follows the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Jim's passion for baseball continues beyond the field as he is an avid collector of baseball memorabilia. His favorite athlete of all time is Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew. In addition to watching, reading and talking about sports, he takes time to travel and appreciate the great state of Arizona with his lovely wife, Patti.

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