Derek Norris and the Padres have agreed to terms for this upcoming season, as reported earlier tonight. Norris will receive $2.925 million in 2016, which is $475,000 less than his projected $3.4 million 2016 salary (projected by MLB Trade Rumors).
Norris set multiple career-highs (14 home runs, 62 RBI, 38 baserunners thrown out, 147 games played) in 2015, his first year with the Padres. He also became a fan favorite thanks to both his performance and his personality. He did lose some playing time to Austin Hedges in the latter part of the season, and as Padres manager Andy Greene suggested earlier this month, he may sacrifice even more playing time in 2016 for his and the team's benefit.
"Where he was at last year, that's probably not the best recipe for him playing that many games," said Padres manager Andy Green. "The wear and tear at the end of the season … we are going to talk through that.
"But I love the fact [Norris] wants to be on the field every day. I know that Austin Hedges wants to be on the field every day. This roster is not set. We don't know how it's going to play and we don't know how many games each of those guys are going to play."
But even with Hedges as well as Christian Bethancourt, acquired in December by the Padres, as secondary options for the team, Norris will likely still get a majority of the starts at catcher, and maybe a few starts at first base again.
As for the rest of the arbitration gang, the Padres have until tomorrow to come to terms with the other three Padres - Andrew Cashner, Drew Pomeranz, and Tyson Ross - or go to arbitration. According to MLBTR's projections, those remaining three players would account for $7.0 million, $1.3 million, and $10.0 million, respectively.