Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles and right-hander Bud Norris have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $5.3 million contract.
Norris made $3 million last season while posting a 4.18 ERA and 147/67 K/BB ratio over 176 2/3 innings between the Astros and Orioles, so he’ll nearly double his salary in his second year of arbitration. He remains under team control through 2015.
Norris has been mentioned as a possibility to fill the Orioles’ vacant closer role, but it appears that he’ll remain in the starting rotation to begin 2014.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.