The Astros certainly do not have to trade starting pitcher Bud Norris, who is under team control through 2015. They're not trying to cut salary any more than they already have. Their 2013 payroll is $26,105, 600, according to Baseball Prospectus, and the 28-year-old Norris accounts for $3 million of that in his first season as an arbitration-eligible player.
His salary will rise each of the next two seasons but not to an amount that would force the Astros to want to deal him now. Whether they have interest in trading him now all depends on how strongly they believe that he's at peak value and won't ever net them a better return than they'll get this month.
The Astros will set the price tag high on the right-hander, who has a 3.63 ERA and 12 quality starts in his first American League season. If a team steps up and makes an offer that general manager Jeff Luhnow can't refuse, Norris will be off to pitch in a pennant race for some contending team. If not, then he'll finish out the season in Houston and the rumors will resurface again in the offseason.
All has been quiet on the Norris trade front since early in the season but there's a good chance that rumors and speculation will increase as we get closer to the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31.
How is a fan supposed to keep up with it all?
That's where B/R comes in—we'll be bringing you the most up-to-the-minute rumblings about the Astros' most valuable trade chip, along with analysis and everything else that comes with it. The best part—everything will be right here, so there's no risk of missing a juicy rumor that just broke.
*This will be updated on a regular basis—often multiple times per day—so while the post date will always show as July 12, simply click to the next slide to see the latest rumors and rumblings about Norris as the Astros decide whether to cash in early on a valuable trade chip.*