Nats working to finalize minor league deal with Norris (updated)

PHILADELPHIA - The Nationals are working to finalize what will be a minor league contract with veteran right-hander Bud Norris, though the deal is not yet done, according to general manager Mike Rizzo. It's their latest attempt to patch together a viable bullpen after a disastrous start to the season.

Norris will report to the Nationals' spring training headquarters in West Palm Beach and be evaluated by club officials before they determine a course of action, Rizzo said. If he checks out medically and appears ready to pitch, they'll complete the deal.

Norris-Throws-Cardinals-Sidebar.jpgNorris, 34, was released by the Blue Jays last week after pitching for them in spring training on a minor league contract. The Blue Jays reportedly wanted him to stay in Florida and continue to build up his arm, but Norris believed he was ready to pitch in the majors.

If he does finalize this deal, Norris would almost certainly be required to report to a minor league club before the Nationals would add him to their major league roster.

A 10-year veteran with seven different franchises, Norris had 28 saves and a 3.59 ERA in 64 appearances for the Cardinals last season, taking over as closer while Trevor Rosenthal was recovering from Tommy John surgery and after Greg Holland lost the job. Ironically enough, he would now join the Nationals in large part because of Rosenthal's massive struggles to begin this season and Holland's signing with the Diamondbacks after he finished 2018 in Washington.

Whether Norris ultimately joins the Nats bullpen and holds a role of significance remains to be seen. But with nobody in the current group having established himself as a consistently effective option beyond closer Sean Doolittle, the Nationals figure to at least give Norris an opportunity should he make it to the big league roster.

Martinez sticking with pitcher eighth, Robles nint...
Game 10 lineups: Nats at Phillies

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to