Padres hang onto Norris, relievers at Deadline

Team made nearly all of its moves before Monday

Padres hang onto Norris, relievers at Deadline

SAN DIEGO -- For most of the baseball world, Aug. 1 was moving day on the trade front.

For general manager A.J. Preller and the 2016 Padres, the action started about two months ago.

Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline came and went, and the Padres' roster looks markedly different than it did at the start of June -- although Colin Rea is back with the club and catcher Derek Norris and relievers Brandon Maurer, Ryan Buchter and Brad Hand remain.

Norris was the Padres' biggest trade chip entering Monday's frenzy. But the club opted to hang onto its starting catcher.

"We viewed Derek as a quality catcher and kind of had a set value," Preller said. "Anything short of that, we felt very happy to go forward with Derek."

Said Norris of his time spent on the trading block: "It was high-anxiety. It's a time where you're not quite sure what's going on. No one really does. I'm not the only one in all of baseball that went through this -- there's tons of guys out there. Now, [it's a feeling of] relief for sure."

Norris will likely be one of the Padres' main trade candidates during the offseason, with Austin Hedges -- who many view as the Padres' catcher of the future -- waiting at Triple-A El Paso. Hedges is hitting .348/.391/.672 for the Chihuahuas.

With Norris on board for the rest of the season, it appears unlikely Hedges will be recalled until September -- despite his gaudy numbers. Hedges accrued 154 days of service time last season, 18 shy of a full year. If he spends 17 days or fewer with the big league club this season, the Padres would gain an extra year of team control.

In that regard, Hedges will probably remain with El Paso through the Pacific Coast League playoffs in early September. Preller, however, said Hedges' service time situation didn't impact the team's decision to hang onto Norris.

"It was more like a value situation for any of the catchers that people talked about," Preller said. "The biggest thing was, I think we hold those guys in high esteem and high regard. ... If it was a deal that was right at the line, value for value, we probably are going to hold onto our depth and see how the year plays out."

As for the trio of relievers, the Padres have control of Hand and Maurer through 2019 and Buchter through 2021. With that in mind, they set their asking price understandably high and couldn't find a trade partner willing to meet it.

In fact, the lone trade the Padres made on Monday was probably the unlikeliest deal entering the day. San Diego received Rea back from Miami in exchange for prospect Luis Castillo. Rea had been dealt to Miami last week as part of a seven-player blockbuster. But he injured his elbow in his first start, prompting the Marlins and Padres to re-visit the deal.

Rea may be back, but six other players from the Padres Opening Day roster were dealt -- James Shields, Fernando Rodney, Drew Pomeranz, Melvin Upton Jr., Andrew Cashner and Matt Kemp.

Many thought Norris would be joining them Monday, yet there he was, in the starting lineup at Petco Park Monday night against the Brewers. Recently, Norris has struggled mightily, going 2-for-37 over the past two weeks to drop his average to .193.

Padres skipper Andy Green thinks his backstop might benefit from having the Deadline finally in the rearview mirror.

"I think it's been distracting for him having his name out there and he's been through a stretch offensively where he hasn't been himself lately," Green said. "Putting all this behind, letting him just enjoy playing baseball, go play, have fun, compete, win baseball games ... We're excited to have him here."

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.