AUGUST 8: The Orioles have announced that they’ve released Norris. They’ll therefore be on the hook for most or all of the remainder of his $8.8MM 2015 salary. He is now free to sign elsewhere.
Norris came to the Orioles two years ago to the date in a deadline deal that sent Josh Hader and L.J. Hoes to Houston. After delivering a season and a half of solid results for Baltimore, the 30-year-old has taken an alarming step backwards in 2015. Norris has a 7.05 ERA on the season to go along with diminished strikeout (6.8 K/9) and walk (3.4 BB/9) rates. Norris has always been a bit homer prone, but the 14 homers he’s served up in just 66 1/3 innings this season are particularly troublesome.
Norris is slated to hit the open market this winter as a six-year free agent, so the timing of his struggles was unfortunate. He’s earning $8.8MM this year, making him a lock to clear waivers. He’ll have the option to reject an outright assignment without forfeiting the remainder of his salary as a player with five-plus years of service time, and the Orioles could conceivably also ask for his consent to option him to Triple-A (another right that is afforded to five-plus players).