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Astros Trade Bud Norris to Orioles


After seeing American League East rival Boston snag perhaps the most sought-after pitcher on the deadline trading block, the Baltimore Orioles knew they needed to keep up in the arms race and nabbed a solid hard-thrower of their own on Wednesday.

According to ESPN.com, the Houston Astros traded right-handed starter Bud Norris to the Orioles for outfielder L.J. Hoes and left-handed prospect Josh Hader. While the Astros are losing their ace starter, they are also getting rid of the highest contract on their payroll ($3 million), which the O’s have also acquired.

Of course, the Orioles will be happy to take that salary on, as they are also getting a reliable innings-eater in Norris, who should bolster their rotation down the stretch as they race for a playoff berth. Norris went 6-9 with Houston during the first half of the season, but lacked run support as he also posted a respectable ERA of 3.93 for team with the worst record in the majors.

“We’ve been trying to bolster our pitching staff, and in Bud Norris we have a pitcher that can give us some quality innings,” said Dan Duquette, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations. “He’s been a very dependable pitcher for Houston over the course of his career.”

Norris should also help fill the void in the rotation left by Jason Hammel’s injury. With Hammel out at least 2-3 more weeks, the Orioles simply couldn’t afford to sit back and watch the Red Sox and Rays pull away in the beginning of August. And in going from last place team to a contender, Norris is thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to a winner.

“I’m excited for the future,” Norris said. “I pitched my way into this situation to be traded and help out a team. This (Baltimore) team is a young club, they know how to contend. They had an amazing year last year. I just want to be any piece of the puzzle I can to help this team keep pushing to the World Series.”

Interestingly enough, Norris will make his debut for the O’s tonight against his former team. His opponent – who was a teammate just yesterday – will be Jordan Lyles (4-4, 4.92 ERA), who has allowed 17 combined earned runs in his last three starts.

When joining a new team, there’s usually an adjustment phase, but facing his old squad right off the bat may be the easiest kind of transition for Norris. Expect Norris to have an edge on his old friends today and for the Orioles to take advantage of his knowledge of Astros hitters.

Look for the Orioles to cover -1.5 in the win today.

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