Jordan Norberto had a 2.77 ERA and 46/22 K/BB ratio in 52 innings out of Oakland’s bullpen last season, but he failed to crack the Opening Day roster this year and today the A’s released him.
The move cleared room on the 40-man roster for first baseman Daric Barton, who’s rejoining the A’s after previously being designated for assignment and passing through waivers unclaimed last week. He’s getting another opportunity because of injuries to Coco Crisp, Chris Young, and Josh Reddick.
Releasing a 26-year-old reliever with just one season of service time coming off a very useful year is unusual, but Norberto has been limited to just three appearances in the minors because of elbow problems and the A’s clearly think they have plenty of bullpen depth.
Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.
Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.
The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.
Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.