Bud Norris has been the center of trade talks since last July. The rumors have swirled around the 28 year old right-hander for a year now. There was speculation he would be on the move this February. The July 31st trading deadline is quickly approaching and yet, Bud Norris is still a member of the Houston Astros. Right now, Norris is one of the best and most popular pitchers on the trading block. Bud is 6-8 with a very, very solid 3.63 ERA and 81 strikeouts with only 36 walks in 114 innings under his belt this season. Considering how bad the Astros currently are, Norris’ numbers are extremely attractive and could seriously help a contender down the stretch.
In the state of the Astros, trading Bud is the most sensible option. He is already 28 years old, and does not figure to be a part of a good (if not stellar) young rotation in the not so distant future. The Astros are still in a rebuilding phase, and if Jeff Luhnow gets the right deal, he will not hesitate to pull the trigger. The Astros have all of the leverage here, as they do not have to trade Norris. Norris is under team control for the next three years and is only making 3 million a year. (Insert jokes about how 12 MLBers make more than the whole Astros payroll here) Cheap and controllable with strikeout potential, he provides considerable long-term value for inquiring teams.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, should the Texas Rangers not land starting pitcher Matt Garza at the deadline, they are going after Norris. The other teams who are calling for Bud are the Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox and more. All of these teams are abundant with talented prospects, and Luhnow is poised to make a deal.
Since the Astros have all of the leverage, Luhnow will absolutely get the deal he wants. Some team will over pay for Norris, which is exactly what the Astros need in terms of long term success. I love Bud Norris as much as the next fan, but it just does not make sense to hold on to him. Tonight could mark his last start at Minute Maid Park as a member of the Houston Astros, so go watch him while you can. July 31st is just around the corner.