The Los Angeles Dodgers have added right-hander Bud Norris and minor league outfielder Dian Toscano from Atlanta in exchange for a pair of minor league pitchers Phil Pfeifer and Caleb Dirks, both teams announced.
After Clayton Kershaw landed on the disabled list with a mild disc herniation in his back, the Dodgers had an open spot in their rotation that needed to be filled. Norris last pitched on June 26 so he’ll be available to fill Kershaw’s spot in the rotation tomorrow.
The 31-year-old Norris currently holds a 3-4 record with a 4.22 ERA in 70.1 innings in 2016. He began the year in the starting rotation but an ERA just below 9 in the month of April saw him demoted to the bullpen. That gave him some time to make a few adjustments and he’s been great since moving back into the rotation, pitching to a 2.08 ERA in the month of June.
This trade was really down to the Braves being able to cash in on his limited value that’s been seen in the last month or so.
A month ago Norris was a DFA candidate. The Braves took advantage of his June success and got two decent arms.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) June 30, 2016
In eight big league seasons, Norris has put together a 4.43 ERA in 1059 innings. Of his 218 appearances, about 80 percent of those have come as a starter. The Dodgers will become the fifth organisation that Norris has pitched for having previously spent time with the Astros, Orioles, Padres and Braves.
His only real noteworthy campaign in that eight-year period was in 2014 when he went 15-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 165 innings. That year, Norris walked only 52 batters which is the fewest he has allowed when pitching over 100 innings. He also struck out 139 at an average of 7.6 per nine innings.
The Dodgers now essentially have an entire starting rotation on the DL with Kershaw joining Hyun-Jin Ryu, Alex Wood, Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson. Norris meanwhile joins a staff comprised of Scott Kazmir, Julio Urias, Kenta Maeda and Brock Stewart.
A 15th round pick in the 2014 draft, Dirks has pitched to a 1.44 ERA in 28 games for Double-A Tulsa so far this year. He has struck out 35 hitters while walking just seven while working out of the bullpen.
Pfeifer meanwhile was a third round pick by the Dodgers last season. While splitting the year between Class-A and Class-A Advanced, he’s put together a 2.67 ERA in relief. Over that span he has struck out 42 in 30.1 innings.