The Houston Astros have agreed to a deal with the Chicago White Sox that will net them righty reliever Kendall Graveman, the teams announced Friday. The White Sox will receive catching prospect Korey Lee in return.
Graveman, 32, will be joining the Astros for a second tour of duty. He previously pitched for the franchise during the 2021 season. In 45 appearances this year, he's compiled a 3.48 ERA (128 ERA+) and a 2.10 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Interestingly, Graveman has undergone a noticeable shift in his batted-ball profile: whereas he'd generated at least 50% ground balls in each of the past two seasons, this year he's coerced ground balls at just a 39% clip. Graveman has remained effective anyway, which is all the Astros care about.
Houston's bullpen entered Friday ranked 14th in the majors in ERA. Additionally, they ranked 17th in Meltdowns, a FanGraphs metric that uses win probability to determine the reliability of bullpens.
Graveman has one additional season remaining on his contract. He'll make $8 million next season, a price the Astros deemed worthwhile in light of potentially losing Ryne Stanek, Phil Maton, and Hector Neris to free agency this upcoming offseason.
Graveman is the latest veteran shipped out by the White Sox, joining fellow right-handed pitchers Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, and Reynaldo López. Giolito and López were traded to the Los Angeles Angels, whereas Lynn and Kelly are reportedly en route to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Lee, 25, is a former first-round pick who appeared in 12 big-league games last season. He's spent this year in Triple-A, where he's batted .283/.328/.406. Concerningly, he's recorded more than four times as many strikeouts as walks. Still, he could factor into the White Sox's catching situation as soon as this season.