JUNE 27: Norris has been released after clearing waivers, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
JUNE 23: The Rays have designated catcher Derek Norris, according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). He’ll make way for Wilson Ramos, who’ll be activated from the 60-day DL, while Jesus Sucre will continue on as the team’s reserve backstop.
Norris, 28, was added just before the start of the season after he was released by the Nationals — who had themselves acquired him early in the offseason when Ramos hit the open market. Ramos ended up signing an incentive-laden deal with the Rays, who knew he’d miss the bulk of the first half while completing the rehabilitation of a torn ACL.
While Norris helped bridge to Ramos, and ended his run with the Rays with a bang by hitting his ninth homer tonight, he had struggled at the plate. Largely matching a messy 2016 effort, Norris has managed only a .188/.242/.347 slash in his 198 plate appearances on the year. Still, he figures to draw plenty of interest elsewhere given his past success at the plate and excellent pitch-framing reputation.
The Rays are surely pleased to be getting Ramos back now. If he can provide anything like the production he carried last year — .307/.354/.496 with 22 home runs in 523 plate appearances — he’ll be quite a bargain. With Tampa Bay in fairly solid position to contend at least for a Wild Card, Ramos may deliver a significant boost in advance of the deadline.