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Nationals could release Derek Norris


Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that, because the Nationals are unlikely to find a trade partner for catcher Derek Norris, the club is likely to release him. A rival executive said, “Not at $4 million,” referring to the backstop’s salary. The salary is non-guaranteed, so the Nationals can release him and only be on the hook for one-sixth pay.

Norris became expendable once the Nationals agreed to a one-year, $10.5 million contract with Matt Wieters. Jose Lobaton would be the No. 2 in command behind Wieters once Norris is out of the picture.

Last season, Norris hit a paltry .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and 42 RBI in 458 plate appearances.

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

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Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.