Texas Rangers trade rumors: Derek Norris, San Diego Padres catcher, is a person of interest to the Texas Rangers, with the front office looking to shore up the team's catching situation and seeing Norris as a possible solution, according to Evan Grant.
The Rangers currently have Robinson Chirinos as their starter, with Chris Gimenez as the likely backup, but the team is thin in catching at the upper levels after Tomas Telis and Jorge Alfaro were dealt last summer. Chirinos has been solid the past couple of years while on the field, but durability is a concern, while Gimenez has issues both with the bat and with controlling the running game.
The Padres acquired Norris, 27, last winter from the Oakland A's in a deal that sent pitchers R.J. Alvarez and Jesse Hahn to Oakland. Norris has been, over the past three seasons, roughly a 2-3 win player, though his walk rate dropped almost in half after going to the National League.
A Chirinos/Norris tandem behind the plate would be an improvement over Chirinos and Gimenez (or Michael McKenry or Bobby Wilson, the other two players vying for the backup job). The question would be cost, of course...the huge Rangers/Padres deal that we've been expecting since A.J. Preller went to San Diego has yet to materialize, with last August's Will Venable for Jon Edwards and Marcus Greene trade being the only transaction between the clubs.
Preller no doubt would love to snag Jurickson Profar from the Rangers, but I have to think the Rangers would want more than Norris if they were to part with Profar at this point. Yohander Mendez, the lefty pitcher who got a big bonus from Texas while Preller was running the international scouting department, would be a name to keep in mind. The Rangers' farm system isn't as strong as it was last summer, but the team is deep in starting pitching options in A ball, and while I'm sure Texas wouldn't want to give up Dillon Tate or Luis Ortiz, guys like Mendez, Brett Martin, and Ariel Jurado, as well as bullpen arms like David Perez and Jose Leclerc, would likely be in play.