The Tampa Bay Rays may have reached out to Derek Norris, but a source tells Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times the club is “on the outside looking in” regarding the recently released catcher.
The Washington Nationals traded for the veteran backstop over the winter, but he became expendable following the signing of free agent Matt Wieters. By releasing Norris last week, the Nationals were required to pay him about $700,000 in termination pay rather than his $4.2 million salary.
There are available at-bats in Tampa Bay for Norris, at least early in the season. The Rays signed Wilson Ramos over the winter, but the former Nats catcher will begin the season on the disabled list as he works his way back from knee surgery. The Rays have split the catching duties this spring between Curt Casali, Luke Maile and Jesus Sucre.
Topkin also lists the Colorado Rockies as among the other teams interested in Norris. The Rockies are looking for catching help after Tom Murphy suffered a fractured right forearm.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported last weekend that the St. Louis Cardinals may have some interest in Norris as a backup to Yadier Molina.
The 28-year-old Norris hit just .186/.255/.328 in 125 games for the San Diego Padres last season, but he was an All-Star for the Oakland Athletics in 2014.
-- Doug Mittler