Today, the Darren Wolfson of KSTP and ESPN1500 posted this little nugget:
The Twins aren’t necessarily just sellers. They could trade for a player signed beyond this year. “It’s a possibility,” vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff said. “Nothing is imminent.” Radcliff would neither confirm nor deny, but a league source said the Twins have some interest in Houston pitcher Bud Norris. He’s under team control through 2015, so it’s not a guarantee he goes anywhere. In addition to the Twins, a handful of other teams like him.
Iiiiinteresting.This is an eventuality that I hadn’t considered and hadn’t really given much thought to. Usually, the July trade deadline is a seller’s market. So many teams want to make that final push for the post season that they may be willing to overpay for certain assets.
Of course, the Twins aren’t poised to make it to the postseason this year, so why would they be interested in going after someone like Norris? Well, since the deadline has the reputation for being a sellers market, a team like the Astros may be desperate to move him, thinking that July is the last chance to get a decent return on their top pitcher. Not only may this drive down the price if the Astros hold on too long, but it could be the last chance for the Twins to snag Norris, if he is indeed a player they really like.
Now the question becomes whether or not this would be a good investment. The reason, as Wolfson stated, that they would be interested in Norris, is that he is not in the final year of his contract. If Norris was a position player, I would say to let it go and wait for another option to come along. As Norris is a stable, though not great pitcher, I think the Twins should go for it if the right price comes along.
The Twins’ system is full of prospects, but most of those prospects play the field. Even if you like Alex Meyer, Trevor May or Jose Berrios, you have to realize that they are a ways off, and still only 3 pitchers. The Twins presently have nobody reliable in the rotation right now, and if Kyle Gibson develops as hoped, that is still only 1 pitcher there. Whether Norris would be a bridge to the future, or perhaps an anchor at the back of the rotation going forward if he could be signed to an extension, he would definitely fill a need. If the Twins were willing to part with prospects who have either played themselves out of a future spot on the team, or are blocked by other, better pitchers, would this work? Would Chris Parmelee and/or Liam Hendriks be enough to acquire Bud Norris?
I don’t think it’s anything that would happen. As I have noted in the past, the Twins prefer to operate in the offseason. Still, it’s an interesting question, and something to think about with the looming deadline.