The Houston Astros are far out of contention but with such a low payroll really have no need to be sellers. Even so they have a player that a lot of teams are interested in, starting pitcher Bud Norris. The market for starting pitchers looks like it’s going to pretty thin so the Astros are taking advantage of it and fielding offers. CBS Sports is reporting that the Astros are asking for two top prospects.
Bud Norris is a name heard often in trade rumors, and he might not excite anyone at first blush.
But that doesn’t mean he comes cheap. The Astros have sought two top prospects back in trade, according to rival GMs.
That sounds like a lot, but considering the scarcity of starters available in a deep sellers’ market, it may not be quite as unreasonable an asking price as one might imagine.(CBS Sports)
At face value it’s a big price, Norris is currently 6-8 with a 3.63 ERA with 81 strikeouts over 114 innings pitched. What is impressive though is he’s only given up eight homers in his first season in the American League. Looking at the pure numbers I don’t know if I’d be willing to give up two top prospects for someone who will probably slot in the third spot in most playoff contender’s rotations.
When looking at the bigger picture though Norris really is valuable and can help a contender for a few years at a discount rate. The Astros know this and that’s what they’re trying to capitalize on.
Norris is only making $3 million this season and is under team control for two more seasons. Obviously he’ll get raises in the arbitration process but team control at a reduced rate is huge. It’s big for any team but for a contender it frees up more money to spend elsewhere.
The one thing that’s for sure though is that Norris will have to pitch better against top competition. This week against the St. Louis Cardinals he gave up seven runs and 11 hits over five innings. Teams WILL NOT give up two top prospects for a player who can’t perform against playoff quality teams.
The Astros should get good compensation but that market really won’t be set till Matt Garza and Yovani Gallardo find new homes.
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