Right-handed pitcher Bud Norris has signed a free-agent contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, a team over which he once held a mysterious mastery.
National baseball writer Ken Rosenthal, of The Athletic, reports the deal is pending a physical. The value of the one-year deal has not been reported.
Norris, 32, emerged as the Los Angeles Angels closer last season when he saved 13 games with a 2.23 ERA before the All-Star break. An inflamed knee was a drag on his production in the second half, however, and he finished 2-6 with a 4.21 ERA.
Out of the bullpen, Norris averages 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
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Used mainly as a starter throughout his career, Norris had his best season as a member of the Baltimore Orioles in 2014 when he won 15 games with a 3.65 ERA.
The Cardinals lack an established closer as pitchers and catchers reported to spring training in Jupiter, Fla., on Monday. In late January, President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak identified Luke Gregerson as the incumbent closer, though he expressed confidence in other young pitchers to handle late-inning duty as well.
St. Louis fans may best remember Norris as Cardinals’ Kryptonite when he was a young pitcher for then-National League Central Division rival Houston. He has eight wins in 19 career appearances (16 starts) against the Cardinals, more than any other major-league team.
Norris has pitched 10 seasons with six teams, going 64-84 with a 4.49 ERA.