The Astros were scheduled to send Bud Norris to the mound on Tuesday night against the Orioles, but he has been scratched as a precaution in advance of the trading deadline, according to Brian McTaggart, the Astros beat writer for MLB.com. The O's are one of three teams "hard after" Norris.
With the Astros in town for the remaining time before the trade deadline, could Norris just end up changing clubhouses? The other teams in the hunt are not named, nor is any kind of prospect cost.
Norris, a 28-year old right-hander, is an interesting player available on the trade market because he is not a rental player. There are two years of arbitration remaining for him after this season, meaning a team can get more of his services. However, that also means he should cost more, and is a pitcher with a 4.33 career ERA in almost 700 innings really worth a whole lot?
In his career, Norris has never thrown 200 innings in a season, and he isn't on pace to do so this year either. He has a 3.93 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. Is that better than Jason Hammel? Sure, but does that mean it's worth giving up someone like Jonathan Schoop and other lower prospects to get him? For the second straight trade deadline, I find myself cringing at every rumor: the Orioles might give up THAT to get HIM? Is this really the price that must be paid for a pitcher for whom a career year at age 28 is a league-average season?
Whether the O's get him or not, it seems they will avoid facing him in this week's series. Tuesday night's starter will instead be Lucas Harrell, who has walked everyone in sight this year, except for the June 4 game where he faced the O's in Houston.