Bud Norris was officially scratched about six hours before his scheduled start for the Houston Astros against potential suitor Baltimore Orioles. Since the season began, speculation has been running rampant as to the trade value and possible landing places of the 28-year old right-hander. Norris has spent his entire career in Houston, and many fans would be sad to see him go.
Would such a trade be necessary?
At only 28-years old and making around $3 million, there is no rush to trade Norris as GM Jeff Luhnow has been keen to point out. He’s still relatively young and could play into the Astros’ future.
With the recent extension of teammate Jose Altuve, the Astros have shown a commitment to keeping players around. Rumor has it that the Astros were looking for two top-end, potentially MLB-ready prospects in exchange for their ace, who is having one of his most successful seasons thus far.
Who are the teams potentially looking to land a starter of Norris’ quality?
It seemed as though Norris may be throwing his final game for the Astros as an audition for the Orioles. Perhaps the plan was to leave Norris in Baltimore when the team finished the three-game series. The Orioles’ farm system is primed with young pitchers, but to land a pitcher of Dylan Bundy‘s quality seems unlikely and the Orioles have yet to even make an offer as of today.
The more likely option is the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have been trade partners with Houston in the past. Sending Norris to the Pirates would reunite him with his former teammate Wandy Rodriguez. The two pitched together for several years in Houston before former GM Ed Wade began shipping off all of the Astros’ stars. The team has expressed an interest in Pirates’ prospect Kevin Glasnow.
Who will take Norris’ spot, should a trade indeed occur?
The most logical option is Triple-A right-hander Asher Wojciechowski. The 24-year old fits into the scheme of developing young talent that Luhnow has followed from the get-go. Wojciechowski has posted an 8-5 record with a 2.67 ERA across the Double-A and Triple-A levels.