As reported here on Birds Watcher and other sites, Bud Norris of the Astros has been acquired by the Orioles for L.J. Hoes, left-hander Josh Hader, and a Competitive Balance Draft pick (which would currently be about the 33rd overall pick in 2014). Soon after the trade announcement, Jason Hammel was placed on the Disabled List with a forearm flexor problem, and Steve Pearce has been recalled to join the roster and bat 9th tonight. (Add Hammel to the list of conveniently-timed injuries that have benefitted roster juggles over this season.)
As can be expected, there is a wide-ranging variety of responses among Orioles fans to the news. Here is a sampling:
Positive Reactions …
The most common reaction on the positive side of the ledger was related to some version of Jason Hammel being replaced. I feel bad for Hammel – truly a good guy … but something is not quite right, and it has become painful to watch him pitch and fail. Most of his pitches are good, but then he hangs one or throws a ball down the middle with no movement, and out it goes!
- Like Bud Norris for the #Orioles. Needed another big arm and he’s not a rental.
- Another reason I like this trade: if Norris could replace Hammel in the rotation. #pleasemakethishappen #couldntbeworse #Orioles
- Anything to move Jason Hammel to the bullpen #Orioles
- And from our former Birds Watcher writer Olivia Witherite – The #Orioles got some pieces they really needed without giving up Schoop, Gausman or Bundy. I approve. #masnOrioles
- People are so reactionary. I’m not great with Hader going, but he is a low-A guy w/o high ceiling. Let it play out. #orioles
- Buck just said Bud Norris is under contract for 2 more years “That made him attractive” #orioles
Negative Reactions ….
If you are looking for a detailed analysis with statistics to support your depression about this move, HERE is a blog post that can do it for you. The gist of it is that Norris is a pitcher in decline – fastball velocity dropping and left-handed hitter problems that in OPACY are going to yield ball after ball on the flag court.
- What is it with the #orioles & C-list starters? We needed a Garza or Peavy, not Butt Norris.
- Irate. Just when I thought the #Orioles wouldn’t do something stupid, they trade @MRLJHOES2U for Butt Norris.
- #Orioles trade for #norris, sound desperate #ALEast too strong, they had to make a move cuz everyone else was getting better
Fun with the Names Reactions ….
It is just too much fun for some folks to let alone the double entendre of L.J.’s last name! This has been going on around Birdland for a while, and now it has gone viral.
- So the #Astros traded Bud to #Orioles for Hoes. Sounds like a good deal to me. Wait…they didn’t trade beer for prostitutes?! #mlb
- #Orioles just traded a player and some women to the #Astros for Bud Norris? How many Hoes did the ‘Stros get back???
- #Orioles agree to acquire Norris from #Astros for Hoes and another piece. Finalizing now.” How many?
- #orioles seek trade for Norris. They do know that Chuck never played baseball right?
Not Sure how to Classify Reactions ….
- Any truth to the rumors that #Orioles would only trade with #Astros because Angelos refused to pay airfare for anyone else?
- I think the general sense among the #Orioles brain trust is that trades with teams from Texas tend to work out well.
My Reaction ….
Of course, this is the reaction that counts! At first glance, it strikes me as a very positive deal. It seems to me that the Orioles gave up less than I would have guessed to be necessary to get Norris. When the news was first arriving through texts and tweets, I kept expecting to see some additional name certainly forthcoming to make the trade a reality.
As well, I think it speaks highly of a person to produce at the level Norris has this year (3.93 ERA) on a team that is extraordinarily weak. And with a current salary of 3 million (the highest on the Astros), he is a bargain even in Baltimore. Along with this is the fact that he has two more seasons under team control. I also like the following attitude:
“I’m excited for the opportunity,” Norris told MLB.com. “I’m very thankful for Houston and the organization for everything they’ve done for me and given to me. You get drafted by them and come through the Minor League system and play here for four years. Houston’s been my home for a long time. It will be hard to leave a lot of it behind me, but as I look forward I’m excited to play in Baltimore. They’ve got a great city and a great, young team. They play together and play very hard. I’m excited to go to postseason and make a run at something.”
L.J. Hoes is a nice player with a lot of tools, but power hitting is not one of them. I cannot imagine him higher than a back-up player for the Orioles who are rather crowed now in left field with Nate McLouth (who I would expect to be re-signed) and Henry Urrutia – a guy with huge potential. It is too early to really know about Hader’s upside … the saddest part of it being that he was a local kid traded away.
I am sure this trade will be revisited again as the season ends, and surely also on occasion in the coming years for both teams.