It all comes down to this. By 3 p.m. CST today, trades will have happened and we will know whether Bud Norris is an Astro until the winter or if he'll be plying his trade somewhere else. Here's a look at what's happening right now:
Three teams in on Norris at this moment, including the Diamondbacks, PIrates and Orioles. Pittsburgh is not willing to give up their four best prospects, though, which makes a deal with them unlikely (to me).
According to Boston writer Nick Cafardo, there's not much talk about Norris right now, but that could all change in a hurry.
At this hour very little action on Bud Norris. But file under situations that could change rapidly.— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) July 31, 2013
For his part, Norris appears to be handling the whole deadline well. From a Brian T. Smith article last night:
"I was a little surprised by (the scratch), but I understand the reasoning behind it. I’ve been talking to my agent about it, and he understands why as well," said Norris, who gave an impromptu pregame interview before manager Bo Porter held his normal media session.
Norris has long believed he will be dealt before the deadline, and cracks began to show Tuesday. Acknowledging the attention was "exciting," Norris again showed interest in playing for a playoff-caliber team and said he needed to be a "little selfish" by taking care of himself and his MLB future five seasons into a career that has mostly been characterized by deals for prospects and team defeats.
"We’ve been through a lot the last couple years here. To see the 10-plus trades I’ve seen … is pretty crazy. And now I know that I may be part of that next piece and … be part of the track record," Norris said.
Other news and notes
One of the reasons the Diamondbacks are in on Norris now is that they missed out on Jake Peavy. He's headed to Boston in a three-team deal that will send shortstop Jose Iglesias to the Tigers and a ton of prospects, including outfielder Avisail Garcia, to the White Sox. The Tigers were looking for shortstop help because they assume Jhonny Peralta is going to get suspended for 50 games thanks to the Biogenesis investigation.
The other major deal of last night was Oakland trading for Alberto Callaspo, sending former top prospect Grant Green to to Angels. It's an interesting trade, in that Oakland has been after Callaspo for a while, but he hasn't played second base in years. Green is an intriguing guy, but hasn't shown he can hit in the majors this year. It's the kind of trade where each team takes on risk, but it also suggests the Angels want to move Howie Kendrick today.
Other names on the market today? Alex Rios of the White Sox may get dealt, but his market appears pretty soft. Might be due to the $18 million he's due. ... The Cubbies are looking to move two outfielders in Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus. There are plenty of teams looking for offense right now, so they should fetch a nice return. ... Though the D'Backs are looking to trade for pitching, they're also looking to move Ian Kennedy. Could they work a three-team deal with the Astros and someone else for Norris? ... No Cliff Lee deals are on the horizon.
Stay tuned. We'll update as we learn more.