This year has not been to kind to the San Diego Padres and their catcher Derek Norris. Norris has been struggling at the plate, which he usually doesn’t do. It is tough to hit in San Diego, but the lineup does not help either, as Norris is surrounded by players that struggle on an everyday basis, which leads pitchers to tend to not make an offering in the strike zone.
In addition, through the 2013 season and 2015, the 27-year-old former 2014 All-Star batted a .256 average, which it is over .250, due to his .270 batting average in 2014. Now, he does still show some power signs, as he continues to hit ten plus homers a season with 14 being his highest ever (2015), which he currently sits with 12 homers and has a real chance of beating his old number.
Interestingly, his OBP, batting average, and OPS has declined since leaving Oakland back in 2014. Also, in 2014 his WAR sat at a 3.0 and the next year at a 2.5, but sadly it dropped to a 0.2.
On the other hand, Norris is a average defender that can hold his own. Now, most seasons, he usually sits just above the league average in caught stealing percentage, but this year he dropped from 34 percent to 24 percent and the league average this year is 27 percent.
Overall, this is just a rough and unlucky season for Norris. Next year will be better for him, as he will most likely be wearing a different team’s uniform. He is going to be entering his second season of arbritration after this season. So he does possess some control for a team looking for a stop gap catcher.
Furthermore, some teams that could be interested in his services could be the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox.
First, I say the Baltimore Orioles, as Matt Wieters is most likely going to be a free agent and playing in a new ballpark with Manny Machado needing a new deal, plus all the money is pretty much tied up in Chris Davis. To acquire Norris will cost a couple of low prospects.
Finally, the White Sox come to mind, as they just parted ways with Dioner Navarro and Alex Avila is on a one-year deal. So they could use a catcher in town for two years. Again, the Padres will not demand to much for Norris, as they have Christian Bethancourt and Austin Hedges in the waiting.