According to super reporter Ken Rosenthal, the Orioles aren't finished trading for pitchers yet. They've already picked up Scott Feldman from the Chicago Cubs and Francisco Rodriguez from the Milwaukee Brewers, and now they could be going after a pitcher from the Astros. From Rosenthal's article:
Baltimore likely would balk at the prospect price for right-hander Bud Norris, but could target former Oriole lefty Erik Bedard or right-hander Lucas Harrell, sources said. “I think they’re still looking at a ton of stuff,” one rival executive said.
The Astros are likely looking for a big return for Norris since he's not a free agent until 2016. Norris isn't a top-tier pitcher, not even close, but he's decent and would make a solid back-half of the rotation starter. I certainly don't advocate giving up anything major for him when he is, at his best, league average.
But what about the other two pitchers mentioned? We all know Erik Bedard, the oft-injured and hilariously surly Canadian who was traded for Adam Jones and Chris Tillman before the 2008 season. Bedard is on a one-year, $1.15M contract with the Astros and is a pitcher who can be very good, but who is very unreliable. Once he reaches 100 pitches (usually around the 5th inning), he's finished. His 4.41 ERA isn't impressive, but he's been bringing it slowly down after a rough start to the season.
Would you want to see Bedard in an Orioles uniform again? I continue to enjoy him from afar, but I don't know how much success he'd have here in Baltimore. I do think he'd be an improvement over Jason Hammel, so in that sense I'd say he's worth a lesser prospect.
The last pitcher mentioned in Rosenthal's article is Lucas Harrell. Harrell is 28 years old and in his fourth year in the majors. He's sporting a 5.06 ERA and a 5.36 FIP, and he walks a lot of guys. He leads the league this year with 60 batters walked (in 112 innings), and he's pretty much always been like that (he even walked 4.3 per 9 in the minors). Harrell had a decent 2012 with the Astros (his only season with less than 4 BB/9), but other than that has shown no success at the major-league level. He is under team control until 2018, but if he's not good I don't see how that helps.
These swirling rumors certainly make it feel like the Orioles are not satisfied with Jason Hammel in the rotation. But do any of these guys offer more than what the Orioles are capable of getting out of Kevin Gausman or Zach Britton?