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White Sox and Astros Finalize Trade: Kendall Graveman to Houston, Korey Lee to Chicago

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White Sox and Astros Finalize Trade

According to reports from ESPN’s Jeff Passan and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale on Twitter, the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox have reached an agreement on a trade involving right-hander Kendall Graveman. In the deal, Graveman will be heading from Chicago to Houston, while catcher Korey Lee will be making the opposite journey to join the White Sox. The trade is a one-for-one swap of these two players.

Astros Make Second Deadline Trade to Reacquire Kendall Graveman in Three Years

In a notable move, the Houston Astros have once again pulled off a deadline trade to bring right-hander Kendall Graveman back to Houston. This marks the second time in three years that Graveman will be wearing the Astros uniform. The previous transaction occurred before the 2021 deadline when the Astros acquired Graveman and Rafael Montero from the Mariners, sending Abraham Toro and Joe Smith to Seattle in exchange. Graveman’s performance with the Astros was exceptional, and his impressive showing led him to a career-best season in 2021, eventually earning him a lucrative three-year, $24 million contract with the White Sox.

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As Graveman currently finds himself in the second season of his contract, which pays him $8 million annually, the Astros will now owe him approximately $2.84 million for the remainder of this season. Additionally, he is set to receive $8 million for the following year. The return of Graveman to the Astros’ roster is expected to bolster their pitching staff and add depth to their bullpen for the upcoming challenges.

Kendall Graveman’s Impressive Performance in Chicago’s Bullpen During Second Season

Headline: “Kendall Graveman’s Impressive Performance in Chicago’s Bullpen During Second Season”

Currently aged 32, Kendall Graveman is proving to be a valuable asset to the Chicago White Sox during his second campaign with the team. Demonstrating consistent excellence, he has amassed a commendable 3.48 ERA across 44 innings, recording eight saves and eight holds. Graveman’s role in the South Siders’ bullpen often involves handling high-leverage situations, showcasing his reliability in crucial moments.

White Sox

While his strikeout rate of 22.6% has slightly declined from its peak of 27% in 2021, it remains comparable to his 2022 mark of 23.2%. Moreover, Graveman’s strikeout rate is only slightly below the league average for relievers, which stands at 23.7%. With such impressive performance metrics, Graveman’s contributions are proving instrumental in bolstering the White Sox’s bullpen strength.

However, there are several notable red flags to consider. In 2023, Graveman’s usually impressive ground-ball rate has dropped to 39.4%, which is a cause for concern. Additionally, his walk rate has surged to a career-high 10.8%, indicating some struggles with control this season. Another concerning aspect is that he has hit five batters already, surpassing last year’s total of three hit batters despite having pitched only 44 innings so far this year. These warning signs suggest some challenges that Graveman is facing in the current season.

Astros’ Payroll Increases with Graveman’s Addition

With the inclusion of Kendall Graveman and his remaining salary, the Houston Astros’ payroll has now surpassed $195 million, according to Roster Resource. Despite this increase, the team’s luxury-tax calculations show they are over $220 million, leaving them with ample breathing room under the $233 million threshold for the first tier.

White Sox

Looking ahead to next year’s payroll, Houston currently has $149 million in guaranteed contracts. However, this figure doesn’t account for potential contract options on players like Neris or the expected costly arbitration-eligible players. Among the notable names in the arbitration class are Cy Young candidate Framber Valdez and star outfielder Kyle Tucker. Additionally, the list includes Jose Urquidy, Blake Taylor, Mauricio Dubon, Chas McCormick, Luis Garcia, and the aforementioned Abreu.

Framber Valdez, with an impressive performance this year, will be due a raise from his current $6.8 million salary, while Kyle Tucker will also see an increase from this season’s $5 million figure. The Astros’ front office will need to carefully manage their financials to retain key players and build a competitive team while staying within the confines of the luxury-tax threshold.

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