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.
“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.