New Kids on the Trading Block

Carlos Pena, Chris CarterIn 2012, the Houston Astros were not shy when it came to trading, and are no stranger to dealing players to teams who want to make additions before trying to make a run at the postseason, and they showed that virtually nobody off limit when they dealt Chris Johnson to the Arizona Diamondbacks days before the trade deadline in July. With am outstanding showing of potential in recent days by a few players, it seems that the Astros have some more potent trade bait on their hands with the recent power showing of Bud Norris, Lucas Harrell, and even Chris Carter are hypothesized to potentially be in trade talks later on in the season.

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Bud Norris:

If a trade involving Bud Norris this year were to happen, it would not shock me in all honesty, nor should it be surprising. Norris, 28 years of age, is one of the better arms in the Astros bullpen, he is not as universally sound on the road like Lucas Harrell, but when Bud is in his comfort zone, he can be lights out. Depending on how the rest of his season plays out, Norris could be shopped around to teams in need when the deadline comes around.

It’s far too soon to tell for sure if Norris will be shipped off somewhere, and very uncertain on who would be a potential buyer, but it is certain that Astros GM Jeff Luhnow will certainly keep the Astros’ options open, explore every option available, and evaluate every possible option they can think of.

With an abundance of quality pitchers making their way through the minor leagues, a number of them at Triple A Oklahoma City, knocking on the door, it would only make sense that the Astros would shop around Norris to make room for the young guns that are currently down on the farm.

premium_article_portraitLucas Harrell: This one is a tad harder for me to swallow in general just because I am more of a Lucas Harrell fan-boy, I feel that Harrell is the best overall, well-rounded pitcher on the Astros roster; ironically, making him the biggest piece of trade bait on the Astros roster.

Only a few months younger than Norris, Harrell is more of a solid pitcher, and can maintain his composure in a rough situation, in contrast to Norris who can get shaky when then pressure begins to build against him. For that reason, I think Harrell will be more likely to be traded, or at least will be more appealing to the potential team than Norris whose confidence could be busted if the opposing offense jumps on him early. I think Harrell has found a home in Houston, and he certainly is one of my favorite players on the Astros at the moment, but with personal success, and a desperate team looking to bolster their rotation, could spell out a trade for the Astros. Should Harrell be kept, I think it’d more productive and constructive for the young hurlers that are currently in the minors when they will be called up to the Major League club.

As it applies to Norris, the Astros’ beloved General Manager Jeff Luhnow will apply the same amount of careful observation and research before making any official move, and it is more guaranteed that Luhnow and company have the team’s future best interests in mind.

I think only Harrell and Norris will soon be on the block in the near future, but this can change at anytime throughout this season, and you never know what the geniuses in the Astros’ front office could do next, maybe somebody like Chris Carter could power his way up to stardom and catch the eye of a team that needs a power bat, and is willing to pay a the right price for Carter. As is the mantra fir all professional sports, anything can happen at anytime, and baseball is one of the more unpredictable sports where anybody has the potential to be defeated on any given night.

I feel as if in a few months, we will look back on this post and laugh at the idea of anybody being interested in these guys; alternatively, we can also look back and see that I made an insightful prediction. I’m buying into the idea of the Astros having a productive year, and regardless of any moves they make, the only direction for the Astros to go is up.

– Richard Perez

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