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1. Derek Norris
Norris was last spotted behind the plate in Kauffman Stadium in the American League Wild Card Game as a seemingly endless parade of Royals baserunners took liberties on the basepaths. The A’s yielded six stolen bases to Kansas City with Norris behind the plate that late September night. Oakland’s season came to an abrupt end when the Royals mounted a furious stolen base fueled comeback. Oakland, the presumed best team in baseball in July, never even made it to October.
A’s GM Billy Beane’s somewhat uneven offseason resulted in the systematic dismantling of the crew that flopped in Kansas City. Athletics were sent to every corner of the continental U.S. and Canada with Derek Norris ending up with the suddenly relevant Padres. Norris made the American League’s 2014 All Star team but he slumped badly in the second half of the season (OPS dropped from .877 on 7/30 to .763 at end of season). Given that Norris caught just 17 percent of would-be base stealers for Oakland last season the Padres will be hoping for an offensive resurgence from their new backstop.
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