At $3 million, Bud Norris is currently the highest paid Houston Astro player on their roster. Rumors have it that they are willing to move Norris before the start of Spring Training and at that price, there seems no reason why the St. Louis Cardinals wouldn't make a move for the right-handed hurler.
The Cardinals will be without their main man for the past couple of seasons, Chris Carpenter. He will miss the entire 2013 season after still being unable to throw due to complications on his right shoulder, which was giving him a hard time in 2012.
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They have pitching depth, but their main question mark on their rotation is Lance Lynn, who displayed signs of greatness as a starter, but his armed seemed to have tired out during the end of the 2012 season.
Norris presents an inexpensive option and he's a proven starter having pitched at least 27 games in the past three seasons. His record is not impressive overall, but he has excellent numbers against the Cardinals posting a career 8-5 record with a 2.74 ERA in 15 starts.
He's a strikeout machine and almost averages a strikeout per inning. Norris' K/9 ratio was at 8.8 in 2012.
Teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds could take interest in Norris being that he will only cost them a couple of young prospects.
Right now, that's the focus of the Astros' organization. They want to set themselves up for the future and they feel that trading Norris right now will allow them to get a better payoff.
The Astros are not expected to compete in 2013. They are moving over to the A.L. West and the competition is pretty stiff. It was already hard for the Astros to win in an N.L. Central division that had six teams. The Anaheim Angels, Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers are the main guys in that division.
The Cardinals have young pitchers, but they also have a big question mark in Jaime Garcia's return. Will he be effective? Kyle Lohse is still a free agent, but he come at a cost.
Norris is 27 years old and in the last year of his contract. He will be pitching for a new contrat this season. We all know players seem to do better that final year before hitting the free agent market. This looks like a move the Cardinals should really consider.