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Jon Heyman on Bud Norris: Astros price too high?

Sigh. I just...I just can't.

Dilip Vishwanat

I'm three days late on this article, but couldn't help but comment on it now. It's been simmering in my subconscious since I first read it. Jon Heyman told us something valuable about Bud Norris and the Astros efforts to trade him, but he did it in the most condescending way possible.

So, I'm breaking out the old FJM machine to fisk through his story. This should be fun.

Bud Norris is a name heard often in trade rumors, and he might not excite anyone at first blush.

You know those stupid Astros? Yeah, they're trying to trade one of their pitchers, even though they're the worst team in baseball. Imagine that.

But that doesn't mean he comes cheap. The Astros have sought two top prospects back in trade, according to rival GMs.

Two? Two prospects? That's highway robbery! How on earth can Jeff Luhnow sleep at night asking for that kind of return? He's Bud Norris! He doesn't excite anyone.

That sounds like a lot, but considering the scarcity of starters available in a deep sellers' market, it may not be quite as unreasonable an asking price as one might imagine.

It may not be quite as unreasonable as you can imagine, because you can imagine all sorts of things, like how I'm not just a mouthpiece for Scott Boras. Have I mentioned some free agent fits in Houston's outfield lately? I can do that if you like.

Norris, who is 6-8 with a 3.63 ERA, fits somewhere into the upper echelon of available starters with Matt Garza and Yovani Gallardo, and he might look enticing to a contender, especially if top starters such as Cliff Lee remain unavailable. Norris has a few big plusses: Beyond the fact he's pitching in the American League, he makes only $3 million this year and has two more years to go before he can become a free agent.

Wait, I thought there wasn't much to get excited about with Bud Norris? He's actually a good, cheap pitcher? That is shocking. It's almost like he's worth not one but TWO prospects. Almost. Let's not get crazy here.

Astros people suggest there's no need for them to trade Norris since their payroll is low (below $30 million) and his salary is more than fair. But he's definitely being discussed in trades, and rivals suggest it makes sense since Houston may not be a contender until 2016. In fact, some speculate he could be the next starter to go.

Oh, those silly Astros people. Why on earth would they keep Norris? He's actually kinda, sorta good and the Astros are horrible. Look, I couldn't even take the time to check out Cot's Baseball Contracts to get a hard salary number fo the team, but I'm pretty sure it's low.

I mean, the Astros aren't going to be a contender for YEARS. Why wouldn't they trade Norris? In fact, they might even trade him very, very soon. This guy who isn't exciting and who most people would yawn at. He's getting traded. How crazy is that?

"Garza is the biggest immediate impact guy and Norris is the best long value guy,'' one rival GM said.

With that in mind, maybe the ask on Norris isn't quite as shocking as it seems.

Well, there you go. An anonymous rival executive thinks Norris has value. In fact, he might have the most long-term value of any guy on the market right now. Maybe two prospects isn't a crazy, far-fetched idea after all.

In fact, one might be inclined to suggest that the asking price for Norris, a young, controllable player, is variable. Maybe they ask for two players from some teams, maybe even three players from others. Oh, and maybe, just maybe, the Astros don't have to trade Norris any time soon. Since he's under team control, maybe they wait until the winter if they can't get a good deal right now.

It's like Heyman hadn't beaten on the Astros in a few weeks, so he channeled all that negative energy into this one post.

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