Like two teams in a pickup game on the sandlot, the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros swapped four players on Tuesday in the middle of a three-game series against each other.
The Astros sent infielder Abraham Toro and relief pitcher Joe Smith to the Mariners for relievers Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero.
Unlike most deals leading up to MLB’s July 30 trade deadline, this one involved two teams in the same division who are very much in contention for playoff spots. At the start of play on Tuesday, the Astros led the AL West by five games over the Oakland A’s and by six over the Mariners — with Seattle one game out of the second American League wild-card spot.
The key player in the deal is Graveman,