The Orioles hope Norris can add some stability to their starting staff (Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Images North America)
The Baltimore Orioles have acquired SP Bud Norris from the Houston Astros in exchange for OF L.J. Hoes, LHP Josh Hader, and a competitive balance draft pick. Norris was 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts for the Astros this season prior to the trade. For his career, Norris is 34-46 with a 4.33 ERA. He is projected to finish the year with 139 strikeouts, which is down from year’s past. His WHIP is also slightly higher this season than in 2012, sitting at 1.41 compared to 1.37 last year. Standing at 6’0”, 220 pounds, Norris is a hard-throwing right hander who will help strengthen an O’s rotation that has struggled at times this season. The team also had to place SP Jason Hammel on the 15-day DL with a “right flexor max strain”. Norris will take Hammel’s spot in the rotation for now, but could go to the bullpen upon his return. The team could also choose to expand their rotation to 6 instead of 5, if they want to give the starters some extra rest. Norris will make his Orioles debut tomorrow night against the team he just left. Hoes, who was recently called up by Baltimore and was expected to start in tonight’s game against Houston, is projected to be a 4th outfielder at the Major League level, although he has hit .304 this season and has accumulated more walks than strikeouts. With the Orioles already having a rock-solid outfield of Nate McLouth, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis, along with Xavier Avery waiting in the wings at AAA, it was unlikely that Hoes would ever get an extended look in Baltimore. He will now get the chance to play every day in Houston. Hader is an intriguing piece to this deal. A 19th round pick in 2012, he has had a good season at Single-A Delmarva, holding a 2.65 ERA with a 1.282 WHIP in 17 starts. The 6’3” southpaw has the potential to turn into a fine starter in the big leagues, but at only 19, he still has a long way to go in his development. Due to the unpredictability of Hader’s future success (or lack thereof), it is almost impossible to call this deal in favor of either team. But for now, the Orioles have themselves another piece to add to their roster in hopes of making the playoffs for a second straight season, and did not have to part with top prospects Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Jonathan Schoop, or Eduardo Rodriguez to do it. The Orioles and Astros will continue their series at Camden Yards tonight at 7:05 ET, having split the first two games of the 4-game set. Miguel Gonzalez (8-4, 3.69) will try and rebound from his worst start in a while against Brett Oberholtzer (0-0, 7.36).
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