SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles right-hander Bud Norris knows what's going on around him. He knows that the club has been in talks with free-agent pitcher Ervin Santana. And he already knew what it was like to pitch with trade speculation swirling around him.
His status with the Houston Astros last year was uncertain from the first day of spring training to the day he was dealt to the Orioles in a midseason deal for L.J. Hoes, Josh Hader and a compensation draft pick.
So, while the Santana rumors were blowing up on social media Saturday afternoon, Norris took the mound and pitched like a guy who didn't have a worry in the world. He delivered his second scoreless outing of the spring, giving up just two hits and striking out four in the first of two split-squad victories over the Boston Red Sox.
Norris said Sunday morning that he wasn't keeping up on the intensifying situation regarding Santana, but he has been aware of the speculation that one of the other starters could be traded if the Orioles sign another free-agent pitcher.
"From the business standpoint, we all have to be cognizant of what's going on, and the more I play, the more I understand the business side of it and all the rest,'' he said. "I didn't necessarily know what was going on yesterday, per se, but obviously he's been in talks the last couple weeks and months coming into spring.
"He still doesn't have a job, so obviously I wish him well. That affects us a little bit, but the only thing I can control is going out there and pitching and doing my work here for Baltimore and preparing for a season. So, as far as where I am in the rotation, that's not necessarily the No. 1 priority for me. I just want to go out there and help this team win games. I just go out there and pitch and that's all I really control."
Though no one has officially projected the rotation for the regular season, Norris is considered one of the top five starters. There also has been talk that he could morph into a closer candidate if the need arises. Until things shake out, Norris said he just wants to enjoy his teammates and keep pitching well.
"You never have this game figured out or this business figured out,'' he said. "You've just got to try to be comfortable. The more comfortable you are with the guys in a new clubhouse, the better off you're going to be. I've been very comfortable, obviously coming over in July, and I'm very happy with the Baltimore Orioles organization and everything, so I couldn't be happier in that regard.
"But I know I've got to go out there and work and continue to do my job. You've got a heightened awareness of what's going on around you, but control the things you can control because it's your career."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun