Next in line on a busy Wednesday is Bud Norris. A morning filled with signings and trades, the Atlanta Braves, according to their official Twitter account, made a one-year commitment to the free agent pitcher. Jon Heyman reported that Norris’ deal will be for $2.5 million.
#Braves agree to terms with right-handed starting pitcher Bud Norris on a one-year Major League contract for the 2016 season.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 25, 2015
Norris is coming off of a 2015 campaign in which he was ultimately relegated to a bullpen role following a trade from Baltimore to San Diego. He carried a 6.79 ERA across 11 starts before ending his season with a 6.72 ERA in 83 innings.
Many will poke fun at the signing as the Braves appear to be in a quirky, yet rebuilding stage, and Norris seems to be a middling rotation option for a team that will fight for last place. However, the signing makes some sense for Atlanta.
Norris, across his first four seasons with Houston (in the National League), he sported a K/9 ratio around 9.0 and looked primed for a career as a No. 2 or 3 starter if he could harness his command. His command only marginally improved and his K-rate fell. He rebounded in Baltimore during the 2014 season with a 3.65 ERA across 28 starts, his lowest BB/9 rate of his career at 2.8 and won 15 games.
His dismal 2015 season caused some concern, and for good reason, but, after improving upon his return to the NL, Norris’ peripherals improved. If given the chance to start in Atlanta, maybe prompting the trade of one Shelby Miller or Julio Teheran, Norris could prove a bargain for a team that is clearly buying time until its prospects are ready.