3:15pm: Norris would earn $1.75MM with the Halos were he to make the Major League roster, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports (Twitter links). The deal contains incentives that can push the total value of the contract north of $3MM.
12:40pm: The Angels and right-hander Bud Norris have agreed to a minor league contract, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). The Wasserman client will compete for a rotation gig in Spring Training, Passan adds.
[Related: Updated Los Angeles Angels Depth Chart]
Norris, 31, pitched to a 5.10 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 47.6 percent ground-ball rate through 113 innings between the Braves and Dodgers this past season. Initially signed to a $2.5MM deal by Atlanta in the offseason, Norris suffered through a dreadful April and quickly lost his spot in the Braves’ rotation. However, his time in the bullpen clearly helped him to right the ship, as he pitched to a pristine 2.08 ERA with a 43-to-17 K/BB ratio over his next 47 2/3 innings (which included five starts in a reclaimed rotation role). Fangraphs’ Jeff Sullivan broke down Norris’ run of success in late June, noting that a newly implemented cutter had dramatically improved his performance against lefties. That success proved to be short-lived, however, as Norris struggled to a 6.54 ERA with the Dodgers.
From 2011-14, Norris was a solid mid-rotation arm for the Astros and Royals, pitching to a 4.06 ERA and averaging 30 starts/174 innings per season. The past two seasons, though, have largely been a struggle outside of the previously mentioned two-month run of excellence in Atlanta.
Norris will compete for an opportunity to line up behind presumptive rotation locks Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker, Ricky Nolasco and Tyler Skaggs (assuming he is healthy). Current candidates for the fifth slot include right-hander Jesse Chavez, who signed an early $5.75MM deal with the Halos back in November, in addition to lefty Nate Smith and right-handers Alex Meyer and Daniel Wright. Non-roster southpaws Manny Banuelos and John Lamb could eventually get consideration as well, health permitting.