Peter Gammons tweeted earlier that the St. Louis Cardinals are interested in acquiring one of the Houston Astros starting pitchers, namely Bud Norris or Lucas Harrell. The Cardinals are also said to be looking for a shortstop but will need to find one elsewhere as Houston traded Jed Lowrie to Oakland last month along with Fernando Rodriguez for Brad Peacock, Chris Carter and Max Stassi.
Bud Norris is the one most likely to be traded. He has historically owned the Cardinals. He has a career ERA of 2.74 in fifteen starts vs St. Louis. He is scheduled to make $3 mil for the Astros and is also currently their highest paid player. His name has been tossed around in trade rumors for over a year now and figures to be dealt on or before the July 31st trade deadline.
Harrell on the other hand is unlikely to be dealt unless its an offer that Astros GM, Jeff Luhnow, just cannot refuse. He was technically a rookie last year and pitched superbly to the tune of a 3.76 ERA, 11-11 record and striking out 140 batters in 193.2 innings pitched. He is also under team control until 2018 so the Astros have very little motivation to deal him unless the offer is too good for a rebuilding team to refuse.
Astros GM, Jeff Luhnow spent almost a decade working for the St. Louis Cardinals, mainly in their scouting department. He knows their system as well as anyone that currently works for the Cardinals and a trade between the two clubs would seem to be a good fit as the Cardinals have arguably the best farm system in baseball and the Astros have been purging their team of all major league veterans in lieu of younger prospects as they build for the future. The Cardinals also have a rotation spot open following the injury to staff ace Chris Carpenter.