Houston Astros' GM Jeff Luhnow was quick to quell yesterday's rumor that starter Bud Norris was "available and drawing interest," stating matter-of-factly that the club is NOT looking to trade the right-hander, according to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle:
One day after Astros starting pitcher Bud Norris’ name again surfaced in trade rumors, Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said Wednesday the club is not attempting to deal the right-hander.
"Right now, we’re not having any discussions with teams about Bud Norris," Luhnow said during a national TV interview. "He’s projected to be one of our starters. We’ve had a good run with him and we’re going to continue to have a good run with him."
Luhnow did add, however, that the club would be willing to talk to teams about acquiring any player on the roster so long as it furthered their present goal of "developing the best young talent in baseball."
The Astros have no illusions about competing this season or the next, and are putting all their efforts into having a competitive squad in two years' time.
Norris, 27, is currently the Astros' highest-paid player for 2013 at just $3 million (though the club is paying Wandy Rodriguez $5 million to pitch in Pittsburgh). If the club were to deal Norris before the season kicks off, their payroll would drop to a total of just over $11 million, which is simultaneously insane and wonderful in a world where a $100 million payroll is the norm.