The Seattle Mariners completed an exhilarating comeback to erase a 6-0, first-inning deficit and beat the AL West rival Houston Astros (SEA 11, HOU 8) on Monday night. It was the thrilling game for a Mariners team that has far exceeded expectations. Less than 24 hours later, the clubhouse was enraged.
, who struck out two in a scoreless inning Monday, but they traded him to the Astros in a four-player swap. Graveman has been lights out all season (three earned runs in 33 innings) and now he'll help Houston as it tries to win the division crown.
"(This) is a move we feel makes us a deeper team today, as well as moving forward," GM Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. "We are certain to be very active in the hours and days ahead as we remain committed to making moves that will enhance our chances over the season's final 60 games and hopefully beyond."
Mariners players in the clubhouse were unwilling to take Dipoto's words at face value. They were very upset with Graveman being traded to a division rival. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times has the details:
Several players opted not to speak on the record about the move, but their anger was palpable. Sources said equipment was broken and smashed while one player "went absolutely mad."
"Betrayed" was a word used often.
"Are you (expletive) kidding me?" said the same player. "It never changes. They don't care about winning. How do you trade him and say you care about winning? And you trade him to Houston? It never changes."
Monday's win moved the Mariners to within a game of the second wild card spot. Their minus-49 run differential suggests they're not as good as their 55-46 record would lead to you believe -- FanGraphs pegs Seattle's postseason odds at 6.4 percent -- but the fact of the matter is the Mariners are one game out of a postseason spot. They are very much in the race right now.
Furthermore, the Mariners have not been to the postseason in a generation. Their last postseason trip came in 2001, in Ichiro Suzuki's rookie season, and you'd think the front office would want to capitalize on their current spot and add players. That's surely what the fans want. They're tired of rebuilds and so are the players, frankly. Trading your best reliever now is a bad look.
Perhaps Dipoto's master plan will unfold over the next few days and the Mariners will add multiple impact players prior to Friday's trade deadline. That's the best case scenario. Right now though, Mariners fans and Mariners players are unhappy. They're having an expectedly fun season and now one of their top players is suiting up for a rival. That's tough to swallow.