Report: Nats 'interested in' Bud Norris to help beleaguered bullpen

Josh Luckenbaugh
April 09, 2019 - 8:58 am
Bud_Norris

Sean M. Haffey - Getty Images Sport

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With their bullpen still struggling mightily, the Nationals have reportedly begun looking for outside help.

Per Jon Heyman, Washington is "interested in" Bud Norris, who saved 28 games for the Cardinals last season but has yet to sign with another team. 

Norris has been a starter for the majority of his 10-year MLB career, but reformed himself into a late-inning reliever in recent seasons. The 34-year old has a career 4.45 ERA and a record of 67-90. 

There's no question the Nats bullpen needs to improve. Washinton relievers have a combined 10.17 ERA, the worst in baseball, and have allowed 18 runs in the eighth inning alone. 

However, Nats fans have been clamoring for the team to go after Craig Kimbrel, the seven-time All-Star closer who helped the Red Sox win the 2018 World Series. 

But given Kimbrel's pedigree, signing him would likely push the Nats beyond the luxury tax threshold, something managing principal owner Mark Lerner wanted to avoid at all costs.

“It’s a pretty severe penalty if you go over and it’s been our goal all year to stay under that,” Lerner told NBC Sports Washington in February.

Norris would provide the Nats a cheaper, as well as older and less proven, option who wouldn't necessarily demand to take Sean Doolittle's spot as the closer. He may not be the name the fanbase wants, but at this point, the bullpen needs help however and wherever it can get it.

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