Padres acquire catcher Derek Norris from Athletics

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UPDATE: The deal is official. The Padres have acquired Derek Norris, Seth Streich and international bonus slot 117 from the Athletics for Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez.

9:30 p.m. ET: According to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, the Athletics will receive right-handers Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez from the Padres for Norris. FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi adds that right-hander Seth Streich will also be headed to San Diego.

And now the deal makes a lot more sense for Oakland. Hahn was terrific in his first taste of the majors this past season, posting a 3.07 ERA and 70/32 K/BB ratio in 73 1/3 innings over 12 starts and two relief appearances. The 25-year-old has dealt with arm issues in his career and had Tommy John surgery in 2010, but there’s big potential here if he can stay healthy.

Alvarez came over to the Padres from the Angels as part of the Huston Street deal in July. The 23-year-old has compiled a 2.41 ERA over three pro seasons while averaging 13.4 K/9. He profiles as a future closer.

The other piece for San Diego, Streich turns 24 in February and owns a 3.37 ERA over 47 starts and 13 relief appearances in the minors. He pitched with High-A Stockton this past season and posted a 3.16 ERA and 116/22 K/BB ratio over 114 innings.

8:58 p.m. ET: Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that the Padres have acquired catcher Derek Norris from the Athletics. Oakland is expected to get a minor league pitcher or two in return, but no word on the exact names yet.

It’s a surprising move, but the Padres continue to overhaul their lineup while the Athletics continue to unload. Norris faded during the second half this past season, but he batted .270/.361/.403 with 10 home runs and 55 RBI over 127 games and made his first All-Star appearance. He doesn’t turn 26 until May and is under team control through 2018, so he’s quite valuable.

As Jane Lee of MLB.com notes, Norris will be the fifth of seven All-Stars the A’s have traded since July. Josh Donaldson, Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Moss, and Jeff Samardzija have also been dealt.

Braves promote Alex Anthopoulos, extend Brian Snitker

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The Atlanta Braves announced this morning that they have promoted general manager Alex Anthopoulos to President, Baseball Operations and General Manager and have extended his contract through 2024. They have likewise extended the contracts of manager Brian Snitker and his coaching staff through the 2021 season.

Anthopoulos’ promotion will not likely change his duties very much, as it’s become increasingly common for top baseball operations executives to be given the title of “president” as opposed to “GM.” Part of this is some expansion of the role of said executives. Some of it is simple title inflation. Some of it is to prevent other teams from being able to interview and potentially poach top executives without permission under the guise of promotion.

Anthopoulos was hired following the 2017 season, replacing former GM John Coppolella, who resigned and was subsequently permanently banned from baseball following his involvement in a scandal in which he breached rules in connection with signings of international players and obstructed Major League Baseball’s investigation into it all. Before that Antopoulos served as the Blue Jays’ GM for seven years.

Snitker took over as interim manager when the Braves fired Fredi Gonzalez in the middle of the 2016 season. He and Coppolella did not get along and there were strong suggestions that he would never lose the interim tag, but he has been on far steadier ground since Anthopoulos took over. Winning helps, of course, and under the leadership of Anthopoulos and Snitker, the Braves have won the last two NL East titles, going 187-137 in the past two seasons.