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.
Last week there was a report that the San Diego Padres were doing “due diligence” on former Rangers manager and current Braves third base coach Ron Washington in connection with their managerial opening. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports today that Washington has already had an interview and that, in fact, the Padres are planning to call him back for a second round.
Also getting a second look: Rangers field coordinator Jayce Tingler. Which suggests that GM A.J. Preller, formerly a Rangers assistant GM, is favoring guys he knows from his time in Texas.
Washington managed the Texas Rangers from 2007 into 2014, winning two pennants and compiling a record of 664-611 (.521). He stepped down for personal reasons but since then has returned to the job in which he made his considerable reputation: coaching, specifically coaching infielders, and has gotten rave reviews. Assuming he’s back up for the grind of managing — and he wouldn’t be interviewing if he was not — he is definitely someone based on results and reputation who deserves another shot at the helm.
Tingler, a former Rangers farm hand, has coached in their organization at both the minor and major league levels for 12 years.