San Francisco Giants sources have been quoted this year saying the team would move Tim Lincecum to the bullpen "in a heartbeat" if they had a viable option to take his place in the starting rotation. As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline appears on the horizon, one such option is making his desires known.
Houston starter and Bay Area native Bud Norris would love to play for the Giants, and the cards might just be stacking up that way. The rebuilding Astros are the worst team in the American League. Norris is in the midst of his best year in his fifth MLB season. And he'd jump at the chance to come home.
"It gives you goose bumps when you think about it," Norris told Fox Sports regarding a hypothetical trade to the San Francisco Giants. "Obviously growing up there, being a big Giants fan. That’s a possibility.
"But if it were to happen, it would be a dream come true for me to play for my childhood team."
Norris, 28, is 5-7 with a 3.64 ERA in 15 starts this year. He's on a one-year, $3 million contract and under team control until he becomes a free agent after the 2015 season. Most importantly, with success in a hitters park in Houston and a hitters league in the AL, the five-year veteran is showing he's deserving of a multi-year contract from a major league team.
And the Giants will soon be in the market for starting pitching. Tim Lincecum is scheduled to become a free agent at season's end, and the Giants will face a decision with Barry Zito (and his $18 million club option/$7 million buyout) for next year.
Norris would give the Giants rotation a much-needed boost as they vie for a playoff position in a tightly-packed NL West, and with two more years of arbitration eligibility, he's a prime candidate for a multi-year deal.