REPORT: Derek Norris is “near-lock” to be traded

DS Derek Norris 2

After the trade that sent Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea to the Miami Marlins, the assumption has been that Derek Norris is the biggest trade chip left on the San Diego Padres’ major-league roster.

Now, it sounds like there is a lot of interest in Norris around the league and that General Manager A.J. Preller is all but assured to move San Diego’s starting catcher.

Norris boosted his trade value after a slow start to the season by hitting .273 with 5 HRs and 16 RBIs in the month of June. Unfortunately, poor performances in the months of April, May and July all but guarantee that the Padres won’t get back a high-level prospect by trading their starting catcher.

There are two clear-cut reasons for trading Norris, though….

One reason is Christian Bethancourt, whose .730 OPS this season is over 100 points higher than Norris. While Bethancourt has played the role of backup catcher on the Padres this season, his bat and athleticism has led to Manager Andy Green playing him out of position in the outfield. A Norris trade would open up more time for him to play his natural position.

The other reason is Austin Hedges, who is the future starting catcher for the Padres. A likely Gold Glove candidate for many years to come, Hedges’ bat seems to have caught up to his top-notch defense this season. The 23 year old is hitting .353 with 17 HRs and 42 RBIs in just 51 games with the AAA El Paso Chihuahuas. A Norris trade would open the door for Hedges to take over as the team’s starting catcher, hopefully for many years.

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