Nats say this Bud's not for you

Ben Krimmel
April 11, 2019 - 1:50 pm

Despite early-season bullpen struggles, the Washington Nationals will not be signing free agent reliever Bud Norris.

Norris, who had 28 saves for the Cardinals a season ago, was floated as a possibility earlier this week, but that door has reportedly closed for the time being. 

While a potential deal with the free agent right-hander fell through, the reported reason seems to indicate the Nats are interested in bringing in some outside reinforcements.

Per Jon Heyman, the Nationals moved on from Norris because he wasn't available soon enough. Heyman reported Thursday Washington believed he was about a month away from being ready for big league action.

MASN's Mark Zuckerman reported Thursday the Nationals brought Norris to West Palm Beach this week to see how he looked and were ready to sign him to minor league deal, but decided he was not ready to contribute. 

While the Nats bullpen has put together two solid outings in a row, the struggles from earlier this season are still very fresh in the mind. But the Nationals' bullpen ERA is still 7.79 (second worst in the majors) and the Washington front office still looks to be on the hunt for fresh arms.

The biggest name on the market remains Craig Kimbrel, but a deal with the World Series winner from 2018 is still unlikely.

Closer Sean Doolittle told Grant & Danny this week the relievers simply have to do their jobs.

"It's not an ideal situation," Doolittle said on 106.7 The Fan. "At the end of the day, Davey can communicate really well, he can try to do all of these different things, but at the end of the day, we as a group have to hold up our end and execute, and come in and do our jobs."

"Every time that phone rings, yeah, you're a little nervous because your last outing maybe wasn't good, but you know that the best thing for you is to get back out there, and you're hoping that the manager, the team, they haven't lost confidence in you," Doolittle said. "I think it's keeping guys in the mix. I think as guys continue to do some work behind the scenes, we'll get some things to click and we'll find the right combination of usage and roles."

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