Far too often around the Baltimore area I hear people still talk about acquiring Bud Norris as if it was a good thing. I even often hear people say they think he did pretty well for the Orioles after the trade. This kind of mindless drivel coming from the casual baseball fans around Baltimore is the kind that drives me mad. I can’t yell at people I barely know in the streets and in the office, but I can on the internet.
Bud Norris is not fucking good people. He pitched pretty god damn horribly for the Orioles after he came over. This isn’t a debate, this is fact. When he was acquired I was against it right from the start. He struggles mightily against left handed hitters, he walks too many batters, and he allows far too many baserunners in general. Then when I saw what was traded, I got really angry about the trade. The Orioles traded 2 prospects from their top 10. While neither of these players is likely to be an impact player in the majors, neither is Bud fucking Norris. The big problem I had with the trade was the third piece in the trade that almost no one is talking about, their 1st round compensation pick for 2014.
The Orioles traded away a first round draft pick on top of the 2 top 10 guys to get Bud Norris. You can find value in these compensation picks pretty often. This isn’t a throw away like it is being treated by Baltimore fans. Cardinals postseason hero Michael Wacha was a compensatory 1st rounder. So was Brian Roberts. Why would you want to give up that slot for a guy like Norris? Norris has never been good. He’s a guy with a career ERA+ of 91 (100 is average) and a high WHIP of 1.422. He was exactly league average for one season in 2011. Yes, he had a slightly above average season going with the Astros at the time of the trade but anyone with even the slightest bit of sabermetric knowledge could see the regression coming. His strikeout rate was declining and his super low home run rate was unsustainable. After coming to the Orioles, his strikeout rate actually shot upwards, but so did his walk rate. He started giving up home runs to make up for what he had done in Houston, and he continued to get dominated by left handed hitters. What the Orioles ended up with was a starting pitcher with an 88 ERA+ and a 1.678(?!?!) WHIP. In other words, pretty fucking bad. The Orioles may end up with an expensive middle reliever if Bud Norris continues to be Bud Norris, and they will have traded decent value to get him. That’s a solid use of resources right? The kind of investment we are used to seeing from the brilliant people at work in the Orioles front office? Absolutely.
This team couldn’t be more damn frustrating if they were actually trying to be. Maybe they are trying to be. That’s it! The Baltimore Orioles exist only to troll their own fans. I’ve figured it all out.