Orioles Acquire Pitcher Bud Norris as MLB Trade Deadline Passes

The Baltimore Orioles acquired pitcher Bud Norris from the Houston Astros ahead of yesterday’s Major League Baseball trade deadline, seeking to bolster their starting rotation as they pursue a playoff berth.

Norris, who is 6-9 with a 3.93 earned run average, goes from the team that has the worst record in the majors to a squad that’s 59-49. Baltimore is 5 ½ games behind first-place Boston Red Sox in the American League Eastern Division and trails the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians by one-half game for the AL’s wild-card playoff spot.

The Astros, who are 36-70, also traded outfielder Justin Maxwell to the Kansas City Royals for minor-league pitcher Kyle Smith before MLB’s 4 p.m. Eastern time trade deadline.

The San Diego Padres acquired pitcher Ian Kennedy, a former 21-game winner, from the Arizona Diamondbacks for left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher, a minor league pitcher and a draft pick.

Norris, a 28-year-old right-hander, is 34-46 with a 4.33 ERA over five seasons with the Astros. He joins a starting rotation that includes Jason Hammel, Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, Scott Feldman and Wei-Yin Chen. Baltimore placed Hammel on the disabled list yesterday with a strained right elbow.

The Padres got Kennedy for Thatcher, minor-league reliever Matt Stites and a competitive-balance selection that falls between the second and third round of the 2014 draft.

Kennedy, 28, was the Diamondbacks’ opening-day pitcher each of the last three seasons and finished fourth in the National League Cy Young Award voting in 2011 after going 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA. He was 15-12 with a 4.02 ERA last season and this year is 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA.

‘Step Forward’

“We’re excited to add a starting pitcher of Ian’s pedigree,” Padres General Manager Josh Byrnes said in a statement. “He is under club control through 2015, and we feel he will help us take another step forward as a team.”

Kennedy has a 49-38 record with a 3.99 ERA in 133 games, including 131 starts, since breaking into the majors with the New York Yankees during the 2007 season.

Thatcher, 31, is 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA in 50 relief appearances this season and adds a left-hander to the Diamondbacks’ bullpen as they pursue a playoff spot.

The Red Sox got former Cy Young winner Jake Peavy two days ago as part of a three-team deal with the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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