Previous reports suggested the Orioles are trying to dump the remainder of Ubaldo Jimenez’s four-year, $50 million contract, but not surprisingly there apparently hasn’t been much interest and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com writes that they “may consider moving” Bud Norris.
Baltimore acquired Norris from Houston in mid-2013 and he’s thrown 216 innings with a 3.92 ERA since the trade, striking out 196 and walking 72. Norris is 30 years old and will be eligible for free agency next offseason, so it’s hard to imagine the Orioles getting a ton considering he’s got a 4.23 career ERA and has never topped 190 innings.
But if the Orioles are stuck with Jimenez and feel the need to clear a spot in the rotation for him, dealing Norris is one solution that wouldn’t have major long-term consequences at least. Clearing his projected $9 million salary off the books might help too.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.