The Orioles traded 23-year-old LJ Hoes, 19-year-old Josh Hader and another young player to Houston for the 28-year-old Norris. I say another young player because they actually traded a high draft pick (likely in the mid-30s overall) that will be turned into a third young player next June.
Was that price too high for a pitcher with a career record of 34-46 and ERA of 4.33?
The laws of supply and demand impacted the price on Norris. There were not many decent pitchers available via trade, and this one is not a rental but a player with two more years of team control after 2013. That elevated the price, as well.
Norris is 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA that was 3.22 three starts ago before he gave up 16 earned runs over his last 17 innings. Was that just trade deadline nerves?
Hoes was having a very solid year, hitting over .300 at Triple-A. That bat might play in the majors and he has more walks than strikeouts. You won’t find many in the O’s minors that won’t rave about his attitude, work ethic and more. But he still wasn’t going to play ahead of any of the O’s starting outfielders.
Hader was having a super year at Single-A Delmarva, going 3-6 with a 2.65 ERA over 17 starts. He may have a very bright future, but there are plenty of steps to navigate between the South Atlantic League and the American League. Who knows what kind of talent that draft pick will yield next June?
Norris’ home and road splits have to be concerning to the Orioles. He pitched to a career 3.38 ERA in that ballpark in Houston but 5.46 in his career on the road. The split was more pronounced this year at 2.92 at home to 5.91 on the road.
These numbers make me certainly question the price the O’s paid yesterday. But fans have been calling for Jason Hammel to be removed from the rotation and this trade allowed that to happen.
The O’s added three pitchers in July without giving up Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Jonathan Schoop or Eduardo Rodriguez.
Dan Duquette certainly is trying to do what he can to get the Orioles over the hump this year and back into the playoffs.
The Orioles are going for it. Those should be words that many fans are happy to hear.
But I’ll ask again: Did the O’s give up too much to get Norris?