Should the Angels Make a Play for Derek Norris?

Updated: February 24, 2017

After the Washington Nationals signed Matt Wieters earlier this week, the rumblings began about the Nats shopping Derek Norris, who they had acquired earlier this offseason to replace Wilson Ramos as their starting catcher. So that begs the question: Should the Angels make a play for Norris? There’s no question that Norris would be an upgrade over both Carlos Perez and Martin Maldonado, the two players currently vying to be the starting catcher. Even though Norris is coming off of a dismal offensive season, slashing .186/.255/.328, that’s still an upgrade over what Perez produced and only slightly worse than what Maldonado posted. On top of that, Norris is only a year removed from hitting .250/.305/.404 and posted a line of .256/.333/.405 from 2013-2105. The Angels would take that kind of production in a heartbeat.

Norris is also no slouch in the defensive department, grading out as well above average in pitch framing and checks in around league average in controlling the running game. Norris’ contract is also very palatable, as he’ll carry a $4.2 million price tag into the season, which should be right up the Angels’ alley. The Halos would also have the option of keeping Norris around for one more season after this via arbitration if he was able to bounce back, so he could potentially fill a hole for multiple seasons and bridge the gap to top prospect Taylor Ward if Norris was able to put together a season more in line with his 13-15 seasons.

The fact that Norris is coming off of a poor season and that the Nationals are obviously highly motivated to move him, (and therefore don’t have much leverage,) the Angels could benefit from an overcrowded situation in Washington much like they did in acquiring Danny Espinosa. Norris shouldn’t cost much as far as assets to obtain him, and his salary and contract would fit directly into what the Halos have tried to do this offseason. The Angels have the opportunity to improve a potentially very weak position; they should take advantage of the chance while they have it.

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