According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Nationals have placed catcher Derek Norris on waivers, likely with the intent to release him. Rumors of the catcher’s release cropped up earlier in the month after it became apparent that the club would have little success trading him before the start of the season.
Norris, 28, slashed a mere .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016. His career .233 average and .689 OPS are little better, and with Matt Wieters, Jose Lobaton and Pedro Severino on the books, it’s no surprise that the Nationals would rather eat 30 days of Norris’ termination pay than convince a trade partner to take on the $4.2 million he would otherwise be owed.
Heyman adds that Norris could find a potential landing place with the Royals, who might be in the market for a backup catcher after Salvador Perez was involved in a brutal collision during Saturday’s Venezuela-Italy match at the World Baseball Classic. An MRI revealed no structural damage to Perez’s knee, but there’s no word yet on how much time the catcher is expected to miss while he waits for the inflammation to subside.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network says that the Nationals could pursue Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray if Stephen Strasburg‘s forearm issue lingers. Strasburg left Sunday’s start early due to forearm tightness, saying he was unable to get loose. Sometimes that’s a sign of a major injury. Sometimes it’s just a thing that happens and then goes away.
The Nationals will have to make a determination as to how big a deal this all is pretty soon, though, as a lot of other teams, including the Yankees, Brewers and Astros have all been linked to Gray. It seems inevitable at this point that the A’s will move their ace before Monday’s trade deadline.
Gray is set to start tonight. It may very well be his last in an A’s uniform.