The Astros might not be done trading big leaguers.
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, starting pitcher Bud Norris “is available and drawing interest” from opposing teams. The Astros will hope to get a prospect or two in return for the right-hander, who was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter and is under contractual control through 2015.
Norris posted an underwhelming 4.65 ERA and 1.37 WHIP over 168 1/3 innings last summer for Houston, but he owns a promising 8.8 career K/9 and would be capable of eating innings at the back end of a contending teams’ starting rotation.
The Orioles, Padres and Cardinals have been linked to Norris at different points this offseason.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.