Cards sign veteran arm Bud Norris - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cards sign veteran arm Bud Norris

Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported on Monday morning that the Cardinals and free agent Bud Norris have agreed on a deal, pending a physical. (Credit: AP) Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported on Monday morning that the Cardinals and free agent Bud Norris have agreed on a deal, pending a physical. (Credit: AP)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Hours after the Chicago Cubs broke the free agency logjam with the signing of starter Yu Darvish, the Cardinals added another veteran arm to their bullpen.

Bud Norris, a notorious Cardinal killer, has agreed to terms with the team on a one-year contract and will join the pitching staff pending a physical, per the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Norris recently transitioned to a full-time relief role in Los Angeles and looks to be another seasoned addition to a St. Louis bullpen that expects to feature several young arms this season.

Despite his notorious success against the Cardinals in years past, Norris’ signing doesn’t carry the weight of Chicago’s move to acquire Darvish.

His last sub-4.0 ERA was in 2014, and he has never posted a WHIP of less than 1.200 in his career.

Still, he appeared to be experiencing a resurgence in the first half of 2017. In 37 games the 32-year-old held batters to a .183 average and a .547 OPS. He picked up 13 saves on his way to finishing 25 games and was averaging 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings.

However injuries forced him to miss heavy time in the latter half of the season, and when he pitched, he looked like a shell of his early-year self.

In 23 second-half games, Norris’ ERA ballooned to 7.01 (up from 2.23) and his WHIP rose to 1.753 (up from 1.046). Batters hit .302 against him and slugged a whisper under .500.

Just as they are with presumptive closer Luke Gregerson, the Cardinals are banking on a rebound season from Norris as he enters his mid-thirties. It’s a cost-controlled move, but hardly a meaningful response to the flag-planting statement made by the Cubs.

The Cardinals still lack the rotation and relief firepower to compete season-long against the division favorites. Add to that Milwaukee’s continued march toward contention and the Cardinals face a growing list of questions as to whether they have the horses to return to October. Norris’ signing adds some stability, but it doesn’t provide any answers.

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