If you can’t beat ’em, trade for ’em


Bud Norris continued his dominance of the St. Louis Cardinals with six shutout innings in Friday’s Spring Training matchup. Convinced that Norris is the greatest pitcher ever, the Cardinals continue their attempts to acquire the 28-year old right-hander.

Bud Norris (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

Norris allowed three hits and three walks while striking out four in the Astros 3-2 win yesterday. What may have been his best outing of the spring is also likely his last. The Astros will probably run Norris out for a simulated game next week as they line up the rotation for the regular season.

Norris boasts a 2.74 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in 15 career starts against the Cardinals, his best numbers against any team. For that reason, the Cardinals probably value Norris more than any other potential trade partner. St. Louis has been the primary team mentioned in recent trade rumors surrounding the Astros pitcher.

One unsubstantiated report had the Cards offering a package that included John Jay and a minor league pitcher. On one hand, Jay seems like a good fit — the Astros could definitely use a centerfielder who is a plus defender. However, Jay is a left-handed hitter and the Astros lineup is already overstocked with lefties.

Jeff Luhnow may be holding out for a better package and the axe may yet fall. But for now it looks like Norris will still be in an Astros uniform to start the season. Norris is scheduled to be Houston’s Opening Day starter against Matt Harrison and the Texas Rangers on Sunday, March 31.