[UPDATE]: After going unclaimed on the waiver wire, the Washington Nationals have officially released veteran catcher Derek Norris:
.@Nationals release catcher Derek Norris.
— MLBRosterMoves (@MLBRosterMoves) March 15, 2017
Derek Norris, who lost his starting catching job with the Washington Nationals because of the late signing of Matt Wieters, has been placed on waivers by Washington.
There is no likelihood anyone would claim him and take his $4.2-million salary at this stage, but the Nats are believed only responsible for 30 days termination pay (around $700K) if, as expected, they wind up releasing him. Arbitration year salaries are generally not fully guaranteed. Teams can release those players and pay only one-sixth the contract if the player is released by March 15.
The Nats have been trying to trade Norris but have not been successful doing so.
Norris is off to a good start this spring, albeit in a limited sample. He has six hits in 15 at-bats, along with two home runs. But he hit just .186 last season with a .255 on-base percentage. The Nationals acquired him early in the offseason from the San Diego Padres for righty Pedro Avila.
Since then, the Nationals signed Wieters, a four-time All Star, to a one-year deal worth $10.5 million with a player option. In addition, Washington has Jose Lobaton and young catcher Pedro Severino.
Norris, 28, is entering his sixth season in the big leagues.
While not much is known at this point on the status of Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, he did leave Saturday’s World Baseball Classic game with a knee injury. Depending on the severity, it’s possible the Royals could get involved in the catching market. Perez was injured on a home-plate collision with Royals teammate Drew Butera.