Astros rumors: Orioles, Cardinals eyeing Bud Norris?

Houston Astros right-hander Bud Norris figures to become one of the most sought-after pitchers prior to the start of the 2013 season or by the time the trade deadline rolls around, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. When the Astros do elect to trade Norris, the St. Louis Cardinals and Baltimore Orioles are teams to watch, adds Cafardo.

Norris will be 28 years old at the start of the season, but rather than keep him as part of their future rotation, the Astros could elect to trade him and continue to stock up on talented prospects. Houston made a similar decision by trading shortstop Jed Lowrie, also a 28-year-old, to the Oakland Athletics recently.

Last season for the Astros Norris maintained a 4.65 ERA over 29 starts. In four seasons in the majors the right-hander owns a career ERA of 4.42 with a 2.32 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

If the Astros due elect to trade Norris before the start of the season, they have several options to fill out thei starting rotation. It already figures to include veterans Philip Humber and Erik Bedard as well as young starters Lucas Harrell and Jordan Lyles. Other options include Jarred Cosart, Dallas Keuchel, Edgar Gonzalez and Kyle Weiland.

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