Astros make trade with team they are facing in middle of series

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Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Toro homers against Houston after Astros trade him to Seattle
It's not unheard-of in the majors to make a trade with an in-division foe, but the Astros made the rare move of making one with a rival they were facing in the middle of their series.

SEATTLE, Washington (KTRK) -- Well, this is awkward.

Facing the looming July 30 trade deadline to improve the roster ahead of the homestretch of the season, the Houston Astros on Wednesday did something that's not necessarily unheard-of, but odd nonetheless.

The Astros made a deal with their in-division rival, the Seattle Mariners, whom they were facing during a three-game series up in the Pacific Northwest.

Yes, the players who Houston acquired didn't have to go far to be with their new team. It was a matter of just switching dugouts.

The inverse could be said about the players the 'Stros sent to the Mariners.

In the deal, the Astros acquired relievers Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero. In exchange, Houston sent third baseman Abraham Toro and reliever Joe Smith - two players who each made an impression during their short time in Crush City.

For the Astros, the chief acquisition is Graveman, who is seen as one of the league's top relievers this season. His addition should bolster a sluggish bullpen down the stretch.

But, Houston had to let go of Smith and Toro, the latter of whom has been reliable taking over for the injured Alex Bregman.

The trade is proving to be memorable for Toro. He hit a home run for his new team in the game immediately following Wednesday's trade. Just the day before, Toro, as an Astro, took one out of the park.

Toro is the first player in major league history to homer for one team and against that team in consecutive games, ESPN said, citing the Elias Sports Bureau.

"When I hit it I knew I hit it good, but I thought it was a little too high honestly," Toro said. "After (Kyle Tucker) jumped, I was pretty excited, obviously."

"It was strange," Houston manager Dusty Baker said of watching his former players. "You find yourself not really pulling against them because you're used to pulling for them."

The strangeness was said about Smith, who entered in relief in the same game for his new team.

"I love that guy. ... I said, 'Good pitch there,' and he started smiling," said the Astros' Aledmys Diaz.

Despite Toro's homer for Seattle, Houston won the post-trade matchup.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.