UPDATED: Nats are the road team at TBOTPB; Decision Day on Derek Norris

Today is the day that Section222 pointed out yesterday is the day of trepidation as Derek Norris could be Patterson’d. Before the 2008 season started, the Nationals used the mid-March calendar to release John Patterson who was an arbitration-eligible player but oft-injured.

Patterson would never appear again in the Major Leagues. He went from the Nats ace in the 2005 inaugural season to bouncing around the minors with other teams. Patterson was a Top 10 pitcher in WAR and ERA in 2005 and he was out of baseball essentially 3 years later.

Derek Norris is not injured and difficult to try to compare with the Patterson situation. A mid-March release of an arbitration-eligible player is rare. We hope Mike Rizzo does not release Derek Norris, but we also do not know the underlying issues and behind-the-scenes inner workings of why this is even a possibility. The cash savings over Jose Lobaton would be less than $2 million if Lobaton was traded given the Nationals would still be on the hook for approximately $688,000 (1/6th of his annual pay) to pay-off Norris who was traded to the Nationals from the Padres and signed as an arbitration eligible player for $4.2 million.

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats with photo enhancement by ReverendP

We still have a game to play today, and the Nationals get to stay home as the road team versus their Ballpark at the Palm Beaches neighbors, the Houston Astros. Today’s pitchers appear to be Joe Musgrove for the Astros and A.J. Cole for the Washington Nationals.


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UPDATED 10:25AM: As Jon Heyman said last week when Derek Norris was placed on waivers, if he was not traded he would be released. That became a reality this morning. Derek Norris was given his unconditional release. We don’t know if this was about payroll, a clash about starting time, or if Derek Norris requested this.


Here are the line-ups for today:

Today’s game is on Astros’ radio but will not be televised.

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