KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Despite persistent rumors that the Astros are shopping right-handers Bud Norris and Lucas Harrell, general manager Jeff Luhnow said on Wednesday that any trade is unlikely at this point.
"I've always maintained that there's no such thing as an untouchable, but at the same time, Harrell and Norris are such an important part of this club right now it would take a significant offer to even consider something," Luhnow said.
Luhnow has made more than a dozen trades since taking over as GM about 15 months ago, mostly shipping off veterans for prospects. Norris is the highest-paid player on the team, at $3 million per year, and some consider him the type of the player the Astros would move for prospects.
Luhnow lauded the way Norris has blocked out any trade rumors.
"Every Major League player, when they start to have success, has to be able to tune out rumors, because everybody is in trade rumors at one point or another," Luhnow said. "Bud's done a good job of keeping his focus on pitching and is being rewarded by facing the Rangers on [Opening Day]."
Norris admitted that it was difficult watching so many of his teammates be traded over the last few years, and it was natural for him to wonder if he was next. He doesn't worry about it any more, he says.
"I think that's a maturity process and understanding the business," Norris said. "I made some strides in that direction. It definitely weighed on me last year at times, because it's not easy seeing teammates leave you left and right. Knowing where we are as a team and an organization and having a firmer grasp on that, that's definitely helped me."
Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.