Norris was designated for assignment by the Orioles on July 31 and then subsequently released nine days later. He posted a cool 3.65 ERA (106 ERA+) in 28 starts last season for Baltimore but stumbled to a 7.06 ERA in 11 starts and seven relief appearances this season. The 30-year-old right-hander will try to rebuild some value in San Diego before he heads into the free agent market this winter. Norris was making $8.8 million in his final year of salary arbitration. Baltimore is still on the hook for around $2.85 million of that.
The Orioles have released pitcher Bud Norris, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports. The club tried in July to trade the right-hander before the trade deadline, then designated him for assignment on July 31.
Norris, 30, struggled in 11 starts, posting a 6.79 ERA with a 39/19 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He missed nearly a month of the season after a battle with bronchitis. After his final start in June, the Orioles moved him to the bullpen, but Norris didn’t have any more success, allowing 10 runs in 10 2/3 innings.
Norris was a big contributor out of the rotation last year, when he finished with a 3.65 ERA. He’ll find work elsewhere.
The Orioles acquired outfielder Gerardo Parra in a trade with the Brewers on Friday. In order to clear room on the 25-man roster for him, the club designated pitcher Bud Norris for assignment.
Norris, 30, has had a rough year. He compiled a 6.79 ERA in 11 starts through the end of June, which included a stint on the disabled list due to bronchitis. He lost his rotation spot and moved to the bullpen in July, but continued to struggle, allowing 10 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings across seven appearances.
Orioles right-hander Bud Norris has pitched almost exclusively as a starter in the majors, but his season-long struggles have him headed to the bullpen.
According to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, Orioles manager Buck Showalter made it official today that Kevin Gausman will start Tuesday against the Twins. This pushes Norris into a long relief role.
Norris had a 3.65 ERA in 28 starts last season and made two starts during the postseason, but he has struggled to the tune of a 6.79 ERA over 11 starts this season. His strikeouts (6.3 K/9) are down and his walks (3.1 BB/9) are up, but the big issue has been the home run ball, as he has already allowed 11 of them in just 55 2/3 innings. The Orioles have eyes on another postseason berth, so they couldn’t afford to keep him in the rotation any longer.
You’ll recall that last year someone hacked into the Astros’ “Ground Control” database, which is the internal communication and evaluation system. Among the stolen data — which was subsequently posted online — were internal discussions about a possible trade for Giancarlo Stanton last year, the leadup to the Bud Norris trade and discussions between the Astros and Yankees in which the Yankees offered Ichiro Suzuki to Houston for cash. Not the sort of stuff a team wants public.
Investigators have uncovered evidence that Cardinals officials broke into a network of the Houston Astros that housed special databases the team had built, according to law enforcement officials . . . The officials did not say which employees were the focus of the investigation or whether the team’s highest-ranking officials were aware of the hacking or authorized it. The investigation is being led by the F.B.I.’s Houston field office and has progressed to the point that subpoenas have been served on the Cardinals and Major League Baseball for electronic correspondence.
The Times reports that the impetus for this was both (a) concern that former Cards executive Jeff Luhnow took proprietary information with him when he left for Houston to become the Astros’ GM; and (b) lingering resentment over Lunhow’s tenure with the Cardinals, where he was reported to have been a polarizing figure. It was not a sophisticated hack, the Times reports. Rather, Cards employees referred to a master password list Luhnow used when with St. Louis, which used a similar computer system.
Teams scout each other. Teams hire former members of other organizations. Intelligence is probably a pretty underreported part of what goes on inside baseball. But hacking someone else’s computer system is illegal and way, way beyond anything we’ve seen in baseball before. Maybe beyond anything we’ve seen in professional sports. As the Times report says, this is nothing short of corporate espionage for which people may be arrested and prosecuted.
If this was some rogue in the lower level of the analytics department it may be one relatively small thing. If this went higher than that and was something people in Cardinals management knew about, it could be one of the biggest scandals baseball has ever seen.
UPDATE: Major League Baseball has issued a statement:
“Major League Baseball has been aware of and has fully cooperated with the federal investigation into the illegal breach of the Astros’ baseball operations database. Once the investigative process has been completed by federal law enforcement officials, we will evaluate the next steps and will make decisions promptly.”