The Padres have signed righty Bud Norris, according to a team announcement. San Diego also selected the contract of righty Colin Rea and designated reliever Dale Thayer and infielder Taylor Lindsey for assignment to create roster space, according to Scott Miller of Bleacher Nation (via Twitter) and MLB.com’s Corey Brock (Twitter link).
Norris, 30, was recently designated and released by the Orioles. He owns a 7.05 ERA over 66 1/3 innings on the year, with 6.8 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9. Baltimore will pay the balance of Norris’s $8.8MM salary on the year, less a pro-rated portion of the league minimum for whatever time he spends on the Padres’ active roster.
Of course, the Friars will hope for more from Norris, who threw 342 frames over the past two seasons with much better results. Over that span, he permitted 3.92 earned runs per nine while averaging 7.5 K/9 versus 3.1 BB/9. He’ll look to regain some value before hitting free agency again after the season, but he’ll have to do so from the bullpen. Padres GM A.J. Preller confirmed that will be Norris’s role, as Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets, explaining: “We’re intrigued in a shorter role, to see how his stuff plays up for the rest of the year.”
San Diego will also see what it has in the 25-year-old Rea, who has steadily climbed the system after originally being selected in the 12th round. This year, he carries a 1.95 ERA across 101 2/3 innings in the upper minors, though he has not performed as well in his time at the Triple-A level (26 2/3 innings over six starts with 6.8 K/9 vs. 4.0 BB/9).
Thayer, 34, entered the season coming off of three straight strong campaigns in San Diego. Last year was his best: 65 1/3 innings with a 2.34 ERA and 8.5 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9. While Thayer outperformed the expectations of ERA estimators over that span, he seemed at worst to be a steady middle reliever.
But this season has been different. Over 37 2/3 innings, Thayer has posted a 4.06 ERA that actually seems somewhat lucky in light of his peripherals. He has seen his strikeout rate drop to less than six per nine while allowing over three-and-a-half batters to reach for every nine innings pitched.
As for Lindsey, he came to San Diego as a key part of last year’s Huston Street deal. The 23-year-old former first-round pick has scuffled in the upper minors since joining the Padres organization. Splitting his time between Double-A and Triple-A this year, Lindsey owns a .197/.294/.298 slash with four home runs and four steals over 272 plate appearances.