With the trade deadline approaching, Bud Norris is still safely wearing his #20 Houston Astros jersey. After being scratched from yesterday’s start as a precaution, many fans assumed Norris would be moved by nightfall. Yet talks seem to be at a general stalemate due to GM Jeff Luhnow‘s unwaivering demands.
The San Francisco Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates are patiently engaged, while the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks are watching from afar. The Atlanta Braves have also jumped into the pursuit. The Baltimore Orioles are reportedly the only team still actively engaged, but they are seeking a lower asking price. With so many teams putting in offers, it will play much to the benefit of the new Astros GM, who has been unwaivering in his dedication to get two top prospects for Norris.
Luhnow must not give in.
There is no reason not to. Norris is still young, a fan favorite and the ace of a rotation that lacks another ace to fill his shoes immediately. Jordan Lyles has shown immense growth but is still inconsistent. While Jarred Cosart is pitching well, he’s still young. Dallas Keuchel has been fairly consistent as well, but to place the roll of ace on any of these young arms puts an added pressure that is not necessary. Bud Norris has shown a stoic demeanor in his roll as an ace and, though the Astros are indeed rebuilding, they still have to field a major league team. Norris is one of the few reliable foundations the team has.
It’s not like the Astros are hurting to free up salary space. As the lowest team payroll, and with Norris making just $3 million, there is no need to force a deal that isn’t to the Astros immediate benefit. It would make more sense to move older, less valuable players such as Erik Bedard, whose trade rumors have subsided heading into the deadline, though it would not be surprising if a minor deal was struck to send him to a contender. A minor deal like that would not greatly effect the current Houston team and it would free up a roster spot for a younger arm and feed into Luhnow’s plan for the future of the Astros.
The deadline is still hours away, but let’s hope Norris remains the Astros ace for at least a little while longer.