Cardinals looking at Derek Norris

MLB: Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres

Well Derek Norris was just released by the Nationals and yes the Cardinals have interest in him. Norris was an above-average bat from 2013-15 with Oakland and San Diego, and although he tied a career-high with 14 home runs last season, his overall production cratered across the board. In 458 trips to the dish, Norris hit just .186/.255/.328 with a vastly elevated 30.3 percent strikeout rate. It may be of interest to some that there was a section of the 2016 campaign where Norris looked more like his typical self; the 28-year-old got off to an awful start and finished the season in similarly dreadful swoon, but from early May through mid-July, Norris was actually rather productive. Over a stretch of 199 plate appearances, Norris hit .249/.317/.486 with 11 of his 14 long balls. His strikeout rate, while still a lofty 27 percent, was slightly better in that stretch as well.

According to scouts Cafardo has spoken to, Norris would be best served by avoiding the Cardinals and other NL teams in order to stay in the American League.  The general consensus among Cafardo’s sources is that Norris isn’t much of a defender, so playing for an AL team would allow him to take the field as a DH.  The scouts do praise Norris’ work ethic and leadership abilities, on the plus side.

So here is my thing, he also has playing time at first base and Norris is more than capable of providing above-average offense. As recently as 2015, he batted .250/.305/.404 — perfectly respectable output for a catcher — and a year prior he delivered an impressive .270/.361/.403 slash.

Norris has been inconsistent in terms of throwing out baserunners in his career, with his single-season caught-stealing rates ranging anywhere from 17 percent in 2014 to 34 percent in 2015. But in the aggregate, he’s caught potential thieves at a roughly league-average 26 percent clip, and more recently, he’s graded out as a quality pitch framer.

I think we should take a look at him, it wouldn’t hurt.

Source: MLB Trade Rumors

 

 

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