The Washington Nationals have avoided arbitration with their new catcher Derek Norris, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. The 27-year-old catcher will be paid $4.2 million in 2017.
Norris was acquired by the Nationals from the San Diego Padres on December 2 for minor leaguer Pedro Avila and is expected to be the Nationals' starting catcher come Opening Day. In 2016 with the Padres, Norris batted a horrendous .186/.255/.328, along with 14 home runs and 42 runs batted in, spanning across 125 games.
Originally drafted by the Washington Nationals in 2007, Norris has spent five years in the big leagues between Oakland and San Diego, batting a career .233/.309/.380, along with 54 home runs, 223 runs batted in and 25 stolen bases, across 557 career games. Norris was an All-Star with Oakland in 2014 after batting .270/.361/.403, along with 10 home runs and 55 runs batted in, across 127 games. Norris was then traded that offseason to San Diego for Jesse Hahn.
With the departure of All Star catcher Wilson Ramos, who signed with the Tampa Bay Rays this offseason, Norris looks to get plenty of playing time behind the plate. Norris will have plenty of competition though as last year’s backups Jose Lobaton and Pedro Severino will be competing in Spring Training for more playing time. If needed, Norris could always spend some time at first base, as he has 118 innings of experience at that position.null