Bud Norris to make O’s debut Thursday … vs. Astros

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As first reported by Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, new Orioles starter Bud Norris will make his debut on Thursday night against the team that just traded him, the Houston Astros. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. ET at Baltimore’s Camden Yards.

Norris was dealt to the Orioles on Wednesday in exchange for outfield prospect L.J. Hoes, left-handed pitching prospect Josh Hader and a competitive balance pick in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft.

The 28-year-old right-hander has a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts this season and he’s fanned 90 batters in 126 innings. He’s making a $3 million salary this year and is arbitration-eligible in both 2014 and 2015.

The Rays announce “The Rays Tank.” Really.

Tampa Bay Rays
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Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.

If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.

In other news, the Rays announced a new blog:

Oh.