It all revolves around a simple concept that's pretty hard to quantify. At what point do they stop trading away assets and start building for the future? Do they stop after Norris? Do they stop before him?
Luhnow has told clubs that he's simply listening to offers for Norris and not especially motivated to move him. This may be more than posturing. Regardless of what happens with Norris, this is the last player for whom Luhnow can expect a significant return.
There has been discussion within the organization about the wisdom of trading him. At some point, the Astros are going to stop stripping down the franchise. Should that happen right after trading Bud Norris? Or should it happen now? With the Astros headed toward a third straight 100-loss season, with attendance having declined 50 percent the last decade, with the games on local television in almost 40 percent of the area homes, this is a tough time to be an Astros fan.
Management attempted to send a different sort of message recently with the signing of second baseman Jose Altuve to a four-year extension, but that's just window dressing. Winning is the only thing that will put fannies back in seats.
Many of you have been discussing this in the comments for months, since Norris' name first surfaced in trade rumors last winter. So, let's vote on it and see just how TCB thinks about Houston's Opening Day starter.