Nationals interested in Bud Norris to help bullpen

April 9, 2019

The Washington Nationals are seeking answers to fix a league-worst bullpen. And according to MLB insider Jon Heyman, the team is interested in a signing a free agent reliever to come help them.

But it’s not Craig Kimbrel.

Heyman reported the Nationals are eyeing veteran Bud Norris, who had 28 saves and a 3.59 ERA last year with the St. Louis Cardinals. Norris,34, became a free agent last week after the Toronto Blue Jays released him from his minor league contract.

League sources: Nats are interested in Bud Norris, who had 28 saves last year and is a free agent. A good fit. They need pen help but still desire to stay under the 206M threshold. Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 9, 2019

The Nationals, per Spotrac, have $9.5 million in space before they reach the tax threshold.

Kimbrel, meanwhile, is the biggest name still on the market. The seven-time All-Star won a World Series last year with the Boston Red Sox and had a 2.74 ERA.

But Kimbrel is likely out of the Nationals’ price range, given the managing principal owner told NBC Sports Washington that it’s the team’s goal “all year” to stay under MLB’s luxury tax.