The Houston Astros have been sellers for what seems like an eternity. Luckily, their time as sellers is almost over. This year’s trading season is going to be extremely interesting for the Astros, and so far, it has been interestingly quiet. That is, until yesterday evening.
There hasn’t been a peep of a rumor concerning the Astros and Bud Norris, but everyone thought Norris would be on the move. Norris has extremely high value right now. If anyone ever trades for Norris, they will end up over paying for the Astros ace. In this trade market, there are three pitchers that just about every contender wants. Those pitchers are Bud Norris, Matt Garza and Yovani Gallardo.
As the day grows longer, the Texas Rangers continue to get ever closer to acquiring Garza from the Chicago Cubs. As for Norris, teams are still checking on him and will do so until he is traded, or the deadline passes. It has been said that if, and that could be a big if at this moment, the Rangers don’t acquire Garza, they are interested in Houston’s Norris. The same goes for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Toronto Blue Jays, Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as others. There are many teams interested in Norris, and this could possibly start a bidding war.
As for others, the Astros may have some more pieces to deal. The Astros have a few relievers that, if used correctly, could be effective. If the Astros are going to trade any relievers, one has to believe Jose Veras is probably the most valuable one. Veras has been the Astros closer this season, and has been effective so far this year. He has a 3.20 ERA with 18 saves. He continues to get better, and so does his ERA. If he works off his hard breaking stuff, he can keep hitters off balance and rack up quite a few strikeouts.
The Astros also have a few left-handed relievers who should be used as one-out only guys, but because of the torrid bullpen in Houston, they have to be used incorrectly. These guys are Wesley Wright and Travis Blackley. If you look at the numbers, they’re really discouraging, especially Wright’s. Wright has had trouble getting lefties out, and has giving up a lot of runs this season. For Travis Blackley, he has actually had success against lefties; it is the righties who tee off on him. If I were calling the Astros about a left-handed relief pitcher, it would certainly be Blackley. Lefties have a .180 batting average against him so far this season.
As Garza is getting ever close to becoming the newest Ranger, the rest of Major League Baseball is waiting for the ball to drop and the trading season to begin.