Daniel Norris is another starter who’s transitioned to the bullpen, pitching out of the pen for both the Cubs and Tigers this past season, posting a 5.22 ERA and 5.14 FIP across 58.2 innings with 66 strike outs. The surface numbers aren’t pretty, but Norris was dealt to the TIgers mid-season and posted a 3.81 ERA and 4.68 FIP across 28.2 innings.
Norris throws mainly a fastball, slider, and change-up. His fastball, while on the slower side, has spin rates in the top 74 percentile per Baseball Savant, though it also get hit hard to the tune of a .398 wOBA. His slider and change-up generate a lot of whiffs, however, with whiff rates of 37.4% and 41.2% respectively.
The underlying numbers look a lot better, as well. Norris’s 30% strike out rate ranks 10th among left-handed relievers with at least 30 innings pitched last season. He also posted a 3.99 xFIP, indicating that his ERA could be inflated, considering he gave up home runs well above his career averages.
Adding Norris would give the Pittsburgh Pirates a swing & miss pitcher as well as a guy who could cover multiple innings, a trait the team typically values. Norris is likely the most inexpensive guy on this list and with his whiff-generating stuff could be a great low-cost addition to the bullpen.