Jeff Passan has a few updates on Bud Norris, who was recently scratched from his start tonight with the Houston Astros, indicating he’s close to being traded.

I’m going to go throw up, then I’ll be back to give some thoughts.

UPDATE 12:50 PM: So hopefully this is Passan just speculating. He did say Pittsburgh “could” be a landing spot. His comments on Glasnow are more speculation. But it seems like he’s basing all of this on some sort of knowledge, otherwise why just come out and mention the Pirates and Glasnow?

I don’t think the Pirates need starting pitching. I don’t think Norris is a starting pitcher who should require a top prospect. If the Pirates were setting their playoff rotation today, Norris wouldn’t be in my top 3, and might not even be in the top 4. The only appeal here is that Norris has years of control, but he’s also a mid-to-back of the rotation starter, and the Pirates aren’t in need of that. He’s a guy that makes sense for a team like the Pirates two years ago. Someone that needs a reliable starter and innings. That’s not the Pirates right now.

Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reports that no trade is even close, so I wouldn’t assume a Norris deal is pending.

UPDATE 1:05 PM: Some thoughts from James Santelli profiling Norris…

Norris is a league-average pitcher over the last four seasons, maintaining a career ERA of 4.33 pitching mostly in hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park and a 4.14 FIP. Norris’ strikeout numbers have fallen this year (16.6%, 6.4 K/9) versus last year (22.5%, 8.8 K/9), but he has made up for it in run prevention by allowing fewer walks and fewer home runs. He has also been mostly healthy, making at least 27 starts each of the last three seasons and primed for his 4th straight season pitching more than 150 innings.

Relying mostly on strong fastball velocity (average 93.5 mph) and a power slider (average velocity 86.4 mph) that is a good swing-and-miss pitch, Norris cuts up right-handed hitters very well but struggles against lefties. If the Pirates acquired him, Norris would appear to slide in well as a No. 4 starter behind Francisco Liriano, A.J. Burnett and Jeff Locke. More than anything, he possesses the ability to throw quality innings to take the burden off Locke and Gerrit Cole, who are being watched closely as they reach career highs for innings pitched.

UPDATE 1:10 PM: Just some xFIP numbers on Norris and the Pirates rotation this year:

Francisco Liriano – 3.04

A.J. Burnett – 3.13

Gerrit Cole – 3.65

Charlie Morton – 3.71

Wandy Rodriguez – 4.03

Jeanmar Gomez – 4.17

Jeff Locke – 4.18

Bud Norris – 4.49

A few notes on that. In his career, Norris is a 4.06 xFIP pitcher, although his strikeouts are down this year, which probably impacts the results. Even if he’s at that level, he’s the #5 option on that list above. You could probably also use the FIP values for Locke, since xFIP assumes a 10% HR/FB rate, and that tends to be lower for left-handers (Locke is at 7.2%). So Locke would be ahead of Norris. Then when Wandy Rodriguez comes back, Norris becomes the 7th best pitcher on the team if you use his career xFIP, or the 8th if you use this year’s numbers (Jeanmar Gomez would be ahead of him).

UPDATE 1:17 PM: Giving some more thoughts here, I really don’t see Glasnow getting traded in this type of deal. The Pirates haven’t made it a habit of trading away top prospects. They also haven’t made it a habit of paying huge prices at the deadline. Dealing Glasnow for Norris would be a complete 180 from what the Pirates have done in the past. I just don’t see it happening.

UPDATE 5:17 PM: Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle says that Norris was scratched to prevent injury.

UPDATE 6:11 PM: Brian McTaggart of MLB.com sats the Pirates, Diamondbacks, and Orioles are three of the teams in on Norris.

McTaggart said there would be more, and if there are any additional details in his article I’ll post the link.

UPDATE 7:43 PM: Bill Brink reports that the Pirates are unlikely to make a deal for Norris.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. The so called experts love to assume the Bucs area bunch of dopes willing to do anything to be above 500.. So with that mind set its amazing the stupid offers they concoct. You see this all the time around this time of year. Its a way to try to make a feeble attempt for the bloggers to try to make themselves relevant. Look at Wilson he was down to Pittsburgh and SF and he goes to LA. These guys know as much as me and you.

  2. Glasnow seems very comparable to Taillon 2 years ago, and we wouldn’t even give up a 19 yr old Tailon for Pence. So dealing Glasnow for Bud freaking Norris makes the least amount of sense of any Pirate trade I’ve ever heard.

  3. Why in the world would the Pirates trade Glasnow for Norris? SP is not that big of a need, and Glasnow is dominating his level at the age of 19 like very few across the entire minor leagues! No way I can imagine this happening.

  4. If they make a move for Norris, it will be insurance for this year and a starter next year with AJ and Wandy as big question marks for next year. Neal likes to deal for the next season if he can get a bargin. I think they could care less what their FIP xFIP’s are, totally meaningless stats, there is no way to mathematically predict the future for any ballplayer, too many intangibles. Best or next to best pitcher on the staff right now has the highest FIP on the staff.
    Norris would not be in the top six on this staff if they traded for him, who sits to let him pitch? Wandy, or the highest FIP Locke?

  5. Agree. Why trade someone away for a bottom of the rotation guy when you have at least 6 or 7 better options than him?

  6. When you hear a Rumor thats a dream wish for the Stroes. They would be lucky to get Black for Norris. We all now that Norris brings no value to the Bucs this year. maybe in the off season we can trade for him but certainly not now.

    • I agree, wait until we see what happens with AJ or Wandy. I think AJ makes more sense on another 1 or 2 year deal.

  7. If the plan is to give up a top prospect like Glasnow, I would rather they trade the farm for Giancarlo Stanton. Only 1 out of Glasnow or Taillon and as much as I hate to say it Polanco and Hanson to seal the deal. It’s a lot and maybe not even enough to get the deal done, but with Stanton and Alvarez we would have the top 2 home run hitters in the NL.

  8. I really don’t have to type a word after reading all the comments. That makes it unanimous ! And I would NOT trade Alex Dickerson for Rios either !

  9. NH has never traded a top prospect even in the media perceived desperation of 2011 and 2012. The closest he has come was Robbie Grossman and his stock had dropped a bunch last year. It ain’t gonna happen.

    • BTW, I am a fan of Bud Norris so I would not be upset by us acquiring him, but I highly doubt that he will cost what is being rumored. Two years of him at arbitration prices for his 2 WAR contribution isn’t a ton of value.

  10. Either speculation n Passan’s part or he’s being used by Lunhow to build an “anchor” price. Hey, player agents do it all the time, and he media are more than willing to play their role.

    Still hoping the Bucs can land Adam Lind from Toonto.

  11. Ok, Knobler’s tweet makes me feel better.

    I just don’t see Norris as an upgrade on any of the five in the rotation now. Of course if Wandy can’t come back this year and Cole hits an innings limit I would understand it a lot more (not for Glasnow, but getting him in general).

    I also don’t think he’s a fit for PNC. Lefties beat him up pretty good.

    • I might actually take Gomez over him too. And I’m not a big fan of Gomez as I think he’s probably closer to a 4 ERA guy than what he has shown… but so is Norris.

  12. Oh my, I just read this on MLB trade rumors. I will vomit if we trade Glasnow for Bud Norris!!!

    I can’t even believe I am hearing this HOPEFULLY just rumor.

    Glasnow would be untouchable if I were the GM.

  13. I would be more willing to give up Glasnow then Polanco but I would prefer to keep both. They both would have a good career with the Pirates instead of Norris for a year or two

  14. Sounding like a broken record here, but we do not want to lose top prospects (Glasnow being one of them) who could play great baseball for the Buccos for years to come for a veteran like Norris, who’d be playing a season or two at the most for us before going down with long-term injuries.

    • Agree totally. This year the goal was to be competitive and the organization has done that.
      We have an excellent young nucleus and our MILB system is loaded.

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