Orioles Keep Pace With Red Sox By Acquiring Bud Norris
The Baltimore Orioles pulled the trigger on a deal as the deadline drew to a close acquiring pitcher Bud Norris from the cellar dweller Houston Astros. The 28-year old Norris has 5 years of major league experience under his belt all on the bump with the Astros. The former 6th round pick boasts a respectable 6-9 record with a 3.93 earned run average pitching for the worst team in baseball this season. Norris is earning $3,000,000 this season and will be arbitration eligible in 2014.
The move is two-fold as the Orioles managed keep pace with their division rival Boston Red Sox who acquired hurler Jake Peavy late last night for the stretch drive. The upbeat Orioles currently currently sit 5 games behind the first place Tampa Bay Rays and will be in tough battling for the wild card spot as the season plays out.
The Orioles will send 23-year old prospect L.J. Hoes to Houston as the centre-piece in the deal. Hoes is a career .286 hitter with 88 stolen bases in 6 minor league seasons in the Orioles farm system. Houston also obtains 19-year old pitcher Josh Hader and a competitive balance draft pick.
Hader was drafted in the 19th round in the 2012 amateur baseball draft by the Orioles and sports a 2.45 earned run average in 17 minor league starts. The youngster has strikeout power fanning 127 batters in 113 innings pitched between three levels. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports is reporting Hader may be replaced in the deal if their is an issue with his medical. The deal is the second of the day for the Astros who earlier dealt outfielder Justin Maxwell to the Kansas City Royals for a minor leaguer.
The Orioles have now revamped 40 percent of their starting five with the acquisition of Scott Feldman a month earlier and now Bud Norris. Buck Showalter and company yet again appear poised for a playoff run in the always tough American League east.