Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that the Washington Nationals are in agreement with reliever Bud Norris. The deal is pending a physical.
Norris, 34, posted 3.59 ERA with 28 saves and a 67/21 K/BB ratio over 57.3 innings with the Cardinals. He started spring training with the Blue Jays, injured his forearm and was released.
The Nationals will add him to a bullpen that has been a hot mess to start the season. And which was an injured hot mess to end last season. If they really wanted to upgrade in a major way they could sign Craig Kimbrel, but this morning Jon Heyman reported that the Nats are more interested in staying under the luxury tax than having one of the best relievers in the game on the roster. Viva baseball in 2019.
Not that Norris is chopped liver. While the forearm issue is a bit of a concern, his 2018 season showed that he can still be an effective reliever. The Nationals could certainly use one of those.
In March, Major League Baseball agreed to pay minor league players $400 per week while the sport is shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. That provision is set to expire at the end of May. As Craig noted earlier, the Athletics will not be paying their minor leaguers starting on June 1.
Several teams are doing the right thing, continuing to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week through at least the end of June. Per The Athletic’s Levi Weaver and James Fegan, the Rangers and White Sox will each tack on another month of pay. The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reported earlier that the Padres will pay their players through the end of August. Craig also cited a Baseball America report from this morning, which mentioned that the Marlins will also pay their players through the end of August.
Frankly, if the Marlins can find a way to continue paying their minor league players, then every team should be able to do the same. The Marlins are widely believed to be the least profitable among the 30 major league clubs. Here’s hoping the rest of the league follows the Rangers’, White Sox’s, Padres’, and Marlins’ lead as opposed to the Athletics’.