Just a few months ago, Derek Norris was dealt to the Washington Nationals from the San Diego Padres. Now, after the signing of Matt Wieters, Norris seems like the odd man out in D.C.
After losing Wilson Ramos to injury and then eventually the Tampa Bay Rays, the Washington Nationals needed a high impact catcher. Although Jose Lobaton and Pedro Severino serve as valuable assets to the Nationals organization they aren’t suited to be every day starters. Although Norris struggled last season in San Diego with a .186 batting average, he has shown all-star potential – in fact being an all-star in 2014.
That season Norris slugged 10 home runs in route to batting .270, accounting for a 2.6 WAR on the season. Norris has thrown out 34.6% of stolen base attempts, and proves to be a valuable asset to any big league club. At only 28 years old, Norris has much room to build upon his current skill set and further advance his production at the big league level.
However, after the acquisition of Matt Wieters, Norris does not seem like a necessary asset for Washington. The Nationals do not need him to play back up, as they already have Severino and Lobaton to fill that role. Instead of holding on to Norris and hoping that he can be a good producer off the bench, it would be wise for the Nationals to deal him and get a player they potentially need.
With the catching position so thin throughout the league, Norris seems almost inevitable to be dealt. The Nationals dealt pitching prospect Pedro Avila to acquire Norris, and while he was not the most groundbreaking prospect they should look to get a return on their investment. A big league arm to help sum up the back-end of their rotation would be great, or maybe another prospect.
Regardless, the Nationals should avoid releasing Norris and attempt to get some sort of return on their investment.