The Nationals’ bullpen is a tire fire. They could go out and do something like get Craig Kimbrel but that would be crazy because it would cost money, so they’re thinking about doing the next (add about 13 “nexts”) best thing: possibly signing Bud Norris. That’s the story from Jon Heyman, anyway, who says the Nats are interested in the veteran reliever.
I kid — Norris is a totally decent reliever. He had a bad spring, though, being released by the Blue Jays after dealing with a forearm injury and appearing in only three Grapefruit League games. Last year he posted 3.59 ERA with 28 saves and a 67/21 K/BB ratio over 57.3 innings with the Cardinals.
If he’s healthy, he can be useful.
Last week the Pittsburgh Pirates released Francisco Cervelli. Yesterday he was signed by the Braves. Atlanta gave him the start behind the plate and he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs driven in to help his new team to victory over the Mets. Welcome to Atlanta, Frankie.
Cervelli had been rehabbing from a concussion and hadn’t seen big league action since late May. He was ready to come back, though, and the Pirates — who are going nowhere — gave him his release so that he might join a contender for the stretch run.
The performance he put up last night, obviously will not be the norm for him going forward. But it’s also the case that his early 2019 batting line of .193/.279/.248 is not indicative of his talent level either. He posted an .809 OPS (122 OPS+) in 2018, and if he gives Atlanta anything even approaching his usual production it’ll help stabilize a shaky catching situation for the Braves.