The Nationals have placed catcher Derek Norris on waivers, reports FanRag’s Jon Heyman. If no one claims Norris, the likelihood is the Nationals will release him, per Heyman. While Norris is slated to make $4.2MM this year, the Nationals will only be responsible for 30 days’ termination pay (~$700K) if they cut him.
Norris has had two stints with the Nationals, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2007 draft, but hasn’t been able to crack their big league roster. The Nationals traded Norris, then a prospect, to the Athletics in 2011 in a deal for left-hander Gio Gonzalez. Washington subsequently re-acquired Norris this past December from the Padres in a move that saw the Nationals send right-hander Pedro Avila to San Diego.
After the Nats reunited with Norris, the assumption was he’d end up as their starting backstop this year. But rumors that they’d sign free agent Matt Wieters persisted throughout the offseason, and that possibility came to fruition when the Nationals inked the longtime Oriole to a two-year, $21MM guarantee (with an opt-out after 2017) in late February. As a result, Washington has tried to trade Norris, who took its acquisition of Wieters in stride.
“It doesn’t change much for me other than the fact that it may or may not be the teammates I’ll be playing with,” said Norris. “So on my end it’s control what I can control. Go out there and play my games and get ready for a season.”
Considering no one has swung a deal for Norris, it’s clear his salary has been prohibitive on the heels of a disastrous 2016 season. In his second and final year in San Diego, Norris posted an ugly .186/.255/.328 line with a career-worst 30.3 percent strikeout rate in 458 plate appearances. Historically, though, Norris has fared respectably. Between his 2012 debut and 2015, he slashed an above-average .246/.336/.392 in 982 PAs with the A’s and Padres. The 28-year-old is also coming off his second straight season in which both Baseball Prospectus and StatCorner assigned him plus pitch-framing marks. It stands to reason, then, that teams looking to make improvements behind the plate before Opening Day will court Norris if he reaches free agency.
With Norris in the Nats’ rearview mirror, they’ll enter the season with Wieters and Jose Lobaton as their backstops. They also have Triple-A prospect Pedro Severino, whose name has come up in trade rumors.
Yes, pick him up Hahn. Hitter friendly Park may help get his hitting back on track.
White Sox or Japan
Whitesox Royals Marlins
rockies, calling it.
Nope. Tom Murphy and Tony Wolters
murphy has 79 ABs to his name and wolters has 230. I am sure the rockies would like a more well established back up than murphy, murphy has 2 options remaining. they get norris for free.
Not free: the Nats owe Norris only $700k; anyone who signs him needs to negotiate a deal — he’s a free agent.
free as in he wont cost the rockies a prospect or prospects had they traded for him outright. they get norris, if they do, and keep whatever they would have given up to acquire him.
It sounds like they’re content with Murphy/Wolters.
Didn’t I read that Wolters was hurt?
Nats wasting no time. As soon as Perez got hurt they jumped.
Back to the A’s
Figuring the Royals will pick him up and save the Nats $700k?
I doubt they do. He’s to expensive for the Royals. If he’s released then they may sign him for a lower salary.
There’s a fit but I don’t see it happening
Norris is such a pitiful excuse for a baseball player and no one on the A’s or the Padres that ever played with him liked him. Didn’t take the Nationals long to figure out that not only is he a bad catcher, but he is a cancer in the clubhouse.
Yes, that’s exactly what happened. There’s no other reason they don’t need Norris anymore. Nothing at all happened after they traded for him, they just hate him in the spring training clubhouse.
Guess you missed the part that he is a pitiful excuse for a baseball player. They waived Norris because even Lobaton is a better option as a backup catcher and they found out just how bad of a clubhouse cancer he is.
Source on being a clubhouse cancer?
K.A. Conway of Alternate Facts Daily.
Pads Fans sure has approached this the wrong way and ticked some of you off.
I would guess he is talking about the recent mention of that by Heyman on Fanrag Sports or possibly the post on Gaslamp Ball, the Padres blog. Susan Slusser mentioned it in interviews back in spring training 2015 (30 Teams in 30 Days?), but I have no idea how to find TV interviews on MLB Network. Bob Melvin also mentioned it in a 2015 interview with Mercury News, but not sure if the writer was John Hickey or ???.
Last season Norris was bad. He had the worst season by any catcher that played in 100 plus games in the nearly 40 years I have been in baseball. That is why he doesn’t have a roster spot today. The Nationals were not willing to bet $4 million that he wouldn’t repeat that performance as their backup catcher and no one would trade for him with that big contract. No matter how bad he was, to call anyone a “pitiful excuse” is totally over the top. You need to back off on the bottle son.
I wonder if comments on internet message boards are admissible in civil commitment hearings.
Only if the comments actually cause damage to the person’s reputation and is clearly false. I don’t think comments on internet message boards are gonna damage someone’s reputation. Publishing for million of viewers to read and openly sharing that publication would.
Pads Fans….I didn’t realize you were teammates….by the way…what round did you get drafted? I was also unsure that you were a talent evaluator.
I just read articles on this site, by Heyman and Rosenthal, in the newspaper that comes on my doorstep every day, and on other sites like CSN Bay Area that have said that Norris was not liked by his teammates or his pitchers. Maybe you should read more and type less.
.186/.255/.328/.583 is not good. He ranked near the bottom in CS%. PB, WP, Errors, and overall defense. Don’t have to be a professional talent evaluator to know he stunk. All you have to do is be able to read. Maybe you should try a little more of reading and less attempts at snark.
Links or it didn’t happen
Funny you should make that demand of me. You are the one who made the claim so the burden of proof rests on your shoulders. Not mine.
But you know what? I gave you a chance. I remembered reading when the Padres traded for Norris that he earned praise for his leadership and clubhouse presence, but that was 2 years ago. I thought that maybe I remembered wrong. So I Googled “Derek Norris cancer.” I even had to include his full name in quotes and include -Bettis and -Solarte in my search so that it wouldn’t show me results about Daniel Norris, the Tigers pitcher who underwent treatment for thyroid cancer a little over a year ago, Chad Bettis, the Rockies pitcher recently diagnosed with testicular cancer or Yangervis Solarte, who you already know about. And what do I find? Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Squat. Why didn’t I find anything? And why do you always tell people to look it up themselves every time they ask you for a link? Because they don’t exist. As in, you made it up. Just admit it, everyone already knows.
PS: way to downvote the comments of everyone who disagrees with you.
PSS: I know that you are probably going to accuse all the people who disagree with you of being my other accounts. Get a life loser.
Ryan just takes screen shots at all the bs
Padsfan is either a troll or mentally challenged.
See Pads Fans, was that so hard to do?
First time hearing anything negative about him as a teammate. Very interesting. Also looks like Shields was not a clubhouse cancer like some people want us to believe.
Maybe try reading something other than boards. It was on CSN Bay Area after the trade to SD. Then it was on the UT. Then Gaslamp Ball said something about it.
You typed in Cancer? You truly are sick. Do you really think that a publication would put the word cancer in an article if it wasn’t about the illness? WTF is wrong with you?
Type in CSN Bay Area Derek Norris.
Or go read articles about him in the Mercury News.
Or in the UT.
You really need to look beyond the two boards you read. There is a real world out there that you are totally missing.
Sure they would. Maybe not newspapers but online fan-run publications such as Gaslampball aren’t subject to the same PC requirements. And even if it doesn’t explicitly use the word “cancer,” Google knows what you are searching for and will show you results that amount to the same thing.
I read more than this and the MLB boards. I also like Bleacher Report, Gaslampball, East Village Times and the UT.
And you telling me that I am missing out on the real world is the ultimate in irony considering how much time you spend trolling the Internet.
You’re a complete idiot
Why did they acquire him in the first place
To play catcher… They didn’t have Wieters at the time…
Wieters sucks though
I’d rather have Norris over Wheaties
Norris sucks too… I’m not saying one is better than the other or anything like that; I’m saying exactly what happened and why they acquired him in the first place.
If you become the owner, GM, or coach of the Nationals, your opinion on which one you’d rather have will actually mean something. Until then, it doesn’t really matter because the Nationals have made their choice.
As a Pads fan we had such hope for DNo last season, as he was kind of a bad ass in 2015, especially in the “gunning down base stealers” dept.
kept expecting him to snap out of it at some point but the bat just never arrived. I doubt anyone saw that coming.
because they likely didn’t expect Lerner and Boras to work out a Wieters deals.
Oh, my bad. I forgot…somehow your qualified to evaluate a major league catcher since you read the newspaper every day…I’m sorry. From what I understand, Norris has been a major league catcher for parts of the last 5-6 years. How many games have you caught? Try doing what he does day in and day out and see if you can hit .186….Point is, he’s there and we’re not. Give me all the stats you want….until I see your qualified to tell the rest of us that Norris is a “pitiful excuse for a major leaguer” I suggest you try doing what he does every day.
The guy is allowed to have an opinion. If he thinks Norris sucks, fine. If you disagree, fine. There’s no need to keep attacking.
MOST people that write about baseball never played a game in their lives. They are still eminently qualified to evaluate talent and comment on it. I may not be a professional journalist, but I do know how to read and I read most everything written about Padres players and a lot about baseball in general. I can also read stat sheets. Norris had one good year at the plate in his career and that is it. He has a ..233/.309/.380/.689 line for his career and even for a catcher that is bad.
Last year he stunk. Not a little either. It was statistically the worst offensive year by a qualified catcher in modern baseball history. No one has been worse than Norris was last season in over 90 years according to Baseball Reference. On top of that his defense was among the worst in the game last season. That makes him a pitiful excuse for a major leaguer. It doesn’t matter a single bit that he is there and we are not, The only thing that matters is that compared to other guys that are there he was terrible. Historically horrible.
You are trying to say I am not qualified to evaluate his performance but somehow you are qualified to say that his completely, overwhelmingly and historically horrendous stats don’t show he is a bad player? You don’t even know how long he has been a major league catcher and you are trying to say I don’t know what I am talking about? You just shot your own arguments down. Get off your high horse.
I’m thinking you’re autistic.
You may be absolutely correct with your stats, but its obvious that these folks don’t like you. Have you considered toning it back a notch?
So being right is not enough? I’m supposed to be nice too? When you are talking about guys like Ryan I really don’t care if they like me. They can’t argue with the facts so they try to assault my character and it just doesn’t mean anything coming from guys like that.
I thought there had to be a worse season for an everyday catcher than Norris last year so I went on Baseball Reference Play Index and darned if you aren’t right.
I sorted for guys playing 100 plus games at catcher and with 400 or more PA in a season from 1921 to 2016. Deadball era doesn’t really apply when it comes to hitting in my opinion. Norris had the worst season.
Worst season I remember seeing was Mike Matheny in 2001 when he hit .218. Usually, you don’t get to play that much when you are playing that bad. Who was the Padres backup catcher?
Curious, where was Dave Valle or Charlie O’Brien in that mix?
Had to look it up. Valle hit .194 in 1991, but he only had 377 PA. His worst season with 100 GP at catcher and 400 PA was .240 in 1992. O’Brien never had 400 PA in a season. He had 109 games and 375 PA in 1996 and hit .238. It’s hard to get 400 PA and hit under .200 You have to wonder why the Padres gave Norris so many at bats when he was hitting that poorly.
You are looking at only one season where he absolutely cratered during the second half. However, if you look at him over the past 3 seasons, he isn’t nearly as bad as you portray him.
Over the past 3 seasons, which include his terrible second half last season, he has a 92 wRC+. During this time, the average MLB catcher had a 88 wRC+. So even with last year, he has been an above average MLB hitting catcher. For some comparison sake, Sal Perez has a 88 wRC+ and Wilson Ramos has a 94 wRC+ over this time period.
Norris won’t be winning any gold gloves, but his defense is still good enough to be a major league catcher. His PB and WP numbers compare favorably to players such as Russell Martin and his error rate is better than guys like Rene Rivera, Miguel Montero and JT Realmuto. Also, according to statcorner, he has been an above average pitch framer each of the past 2 seasons and we know how important that is to some teams.
I have a hard time thinking that multiple teams wouldn’t take a chance on a 28 year old catcher who has had multiple above average offensive seasons, good framing numbers, an average CS rate and passable glove for <$4 million this season and one more arbitration season next year. As a Rays fan, I really hope they do.
I am confused. You are both a Rays fan and a Padres fan? Why do you have more than one account?
I was only looking up whether or not that guy was right about Norris having a historically bad season, and he was right. No one has been worse while playing 100 games behind the plate and getting 400 PA.
I don’t really follow Norris enough to know if he has been good or bad overall, but if you are going to take 3 seasons you should just look at all 5. His defense is about average overall according to the 3 major metrics. Since you mentioned them, he was in the bottom 5 in PB and WP over the past 5 years. If you are looking at pitch framing, I prefer Baseball Prospectus and both have him as a plus pitch framer, not an above average one. There is a difference. He ranked 221st of 338 catchers over the past 5 seasons. When you look at guys with at least 300 PA per season and 400 GP over that period, in other words everyday starters taking into account an injury or two over 5 years, Norris’ offense (.233/.301/.387/.689) is below average on BA, OBP, SLG, and OPS over the past 5 seasons. He ranked 22nd of 32 players listed in fWAR.
I’m glad you like him so much. No teams seemed to have the same opinion since they didn’t trade for him and no one has claimed him. He is probably worth MLB minimum to a team, just not $4.2 million. It will be interesting to see if he gets a MiLB or MLB contract. Maybe the Rays will pick him up since Ramos is down for a while. Good luck to him and who ever signs him. I hope he does well for them as long as they are not playing my boys.
I’m not a Padres fan at all and not sure where you get that or the idea that I have multiple accounts here. I also wasn’t replying to you, it was to Pad Fan who was adamantly destroying Norris over his second half last season.
As to why I look at 3 seasons verses whole careers is because I feel 3 years will usually give you a large enough sample to help eliminate noise and still provide a reasonable example of recent performance. If you would like, his career 93 wRC+, while below average, is still above average offense for a catcher. As to his pitch framing, as I stated I looked at statcorner. I did because I don’t have BP and SC is free and available. The last 2 seasons, he has been above average. Not just plus according to them. Again, as I said, I think there are teams who would value him enough to offer an MLB contract. If I was a GM, with the information that is publicly available, I would definitely take a chance on him for my team if I didn’t have one of the top 10-12 catchers in MLB. Since I’m a Rays fan, I hope they are the team that does. I think he would be an improvement over what they will be starting the season.
You may want to read what the guys at Statcorner say about their stats. That is why I pay the few bucks to use Baseball Prospectus.
How about the Mets sign him to go 80-80 with Travis d’Arnaud, not to mention it would give them a chance to spite the nats
I thought so too as both could platoon him and he could hopefully buipd back value
I want the Rays to sign him just so that the Wil Myers trade can come full circle. The Nats hosed the Padres and Rays on that trade, let’s give some right back. Sure, Pedro Avila is not Trea Turner or Joe Ross but I don’t think the Nats are too keen on losing him for no return.
That is not a bad landing spot for Norris after he clears waivers. Ramos is down for awhile and they could use a veteran on the cheap as a placeholder until he returns.
I don’t think the nationals or fair to him he’s an OK player in my mind this is coming from nationals family now
I meant from a nationals fan
White Sox need a veteran catcher to help their young arms develop. Giolito
Does anyone know his pitch framing stats?
Norris is a below-average catcher in every facet of the game defensively. Last year he also stopped hitting too, obviously. There is some value in just being a catcher, of course, but Norris doesn’t have any real value right now. I assume he is released and signs with the Angels or maybe, I don’t know, the Mets?
From this very article:
“The 28-year-old is also coming off his second straight season in which both Baseball Prospectus and StatCorner assigned him plus pitch-framing marks.”
That’s interesting. Fangraphs has him as about average and all three of the major sites have him as a anegative overall defensive catcher, although that obviously includes other stuff.
Baseball Prospectus ranked him 89th with about 100 catchers being on the plus side. baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=1918786 Sorry I don’t know how to do that Link To thing.
That a player has plus pitch framing just means that they don’t often cost your pitchers strikes with their pitch framing, not that they are good at it.
They only list 104 catchers total. Is it different if you subscribe?
The last four years he is 89th, 49th, 105th, 30th. I don’t have a membership so I only see a ranking, but it looks like there is a lot of volatility from year to year in these rankings.
He goes to Buffalo Bisons
I think you mean the Buffalo Bills
Reminds people this can be a tough business. You think, when Boras was pitching Wieters to Lerner he didn’t remind Lerner that the actual commitment to Norris was only $700K, not $4.3M?
Norris will find a team, probably for ML minimum. Catchers break a lot
4.Royals if Perez is out for extended time with injury.
I would think the Angels, White Sox or Marlins would be good destinations.
I wouldn’t mind the Royals picking him up. He used to be able to hit, so there’s hope of a bounce back. I’ve heard mixed things about his pitch framing, but if he can call a good game I’d rather have him than Butera. Have to wait and see if Salvy’s injury causes him to miss any time. Norris likely ends up with ChiSox would be my guess though.
no way the bucs would tempt to sign him. would be nice because you can’t rely on cervelli the whole year, and stewart might hit a home run this year…..the catching , offense particularly was horrid. norris could at least bring some…..some…..maybe.. power. but that money scares away nutting. who knows. I’m just sayin there’s a chance…
I read an article that Norris is some type of clubhouse cancer somewhere….anybody that can back that up, maybe a Padres fan that reads the local papers?
This was posted here a little while ago. gaslampball.com/2017/2/28/14767228/derek-norris-was-not-well-liked-in-the-padres-clubhouse
Was this one of the changes in the CBA or was it a clause in his contract? Why is Norris only owed $700K?
He is an arbitration eligible player so his salary is not guaranteed, only one month of it.
What the Braves, he’s better than Flowers