The Atlanta Braves filled another area of need today, as they signed veteran right-hander Bud Norris to a one-year deal, according to a team announcement.
According to a report from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, Norris will earn $2.5 million for the 2016 season.
The 30-year-old right-hander is coming off by far his worst season of his career. In 38 games (11 starts) with the Baltimore Orioles and San Diego Padres, Norris finished with a record of 3-11 and a career-worst 6.72 ERA. He only compiled 83 total innings where he allowed 68 runs and struck out only 71 batters.
It has been well documented that the Braves have been stockpiling pitching in their farm system, but the majority of their prized talent isn’t ready for the big leagues just yet. Therefore, the Braves had a need in the starting rotation and wanted to fill it with a veteran with some upside.
Before a putrid 2015 season, Norris put together his best season as a major leaguer where he went 15-8 with a career-best 3.65 ERA in 28 starts.
Braves GM John Coppolella tells Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “We feel that he will be a valuable part of our starting rotation in 2016.”
As of right now, the only two guaranteed starters in the Braves rotation are Shelby Miller and Julio Teheran, and even those two are in doubt as both have been brought up in trade rumors the last couple of weeks.
This is a very low risk signing for Atlanta, as they have some talent coming up the pipeline who could reach the big league club as early as 2016, and if Norris doesn’t return to form in the rotation the Braves could put him in the bullpen. In his seven-year career with three different teams, Norris has struck out 910 batters in 988.2 innings while posting a 4.44 ERA.