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Bud Norris officially released; Chris Tillman to start Tuesday

Orioles pitcher Bud Norris gives up a two-run home run to the Minnesota Twins' Brian Dozier in the sixth inning, Wednesday, July 8, 2015, in Minneapolis. The Twins' Joe Mauer followed with a solo home run off Norris.
Orioles pitcher Bud Norris gives up a two-run home run to the Minnesota Twins' Brian Dozier in the sixth inning, Wednesday, July 8, 2015, in Minneapolis. The Twins' Joe Mauer followed with a solo home run off Norris. (Jim Mone / Associated Press)

Right-hander Bud Norris, who won 15 games for the Orioles' division-winning club in 2014 but struggled throughout this season, officially was released Saturday afternoon.

The Orioles were attempting to trade Norris, 30, before and after designating him for assignment July 31, but were unsuccessful.

"We couldn't find a trade partner. We canvassed the market thoroughly," executive vice president Dan Duquette said. "We tried for weeks and couldn't identify a trade partner."

Norris was 2-9 with a 7.06 ERA in 18 games (11 starts) for the Orioles this year after going 15-8 with a 3.65 ERA in 28 starts in 2014.

A pending free agent at season's end, Norris could not maintain any consistency from the beginning of spring training, and ultimately lost his starting spot in the rotation. His nightmare 2015 included a stint on the disabled list because of a severe case of bronchitis that sapped him of his strength.

When contacted by phone Saturday, Norris politely declined to comment by saying, "I'm just going to keep quiet."

Norris is now free to sign with any team. If he doesn't, the Orioles are on the hook for roughly $2.85 million remaining on his $8.8 million salary. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he has been contacted by a two teams wanting his opinion on Norris.

"He needs a fresh start and he's going to get one now," Showalter said. "I feel good for him that he's going to get to pick and there will be people [interested]. He's a good, healthy pitcher that's capable of a lot better than what he did for us this year. It didn't work out."

If he lands in the majors with another team, that club will be responsible for the prorated amount of the league minimum, which will likely be $150,000 or less.

"It was a big disappointment for everybody. It's not the way we expected things would go," Duquette said. "He had a great year last year, but that didn't have a bearing on things [in 2015]."

The Orioles have cut ties with several veterans this season that were counted on to help the 2015 club, including outfielders Alejandro De Aza, Delmon Young and Travis Snider, pitchers Ryan Webb, Wesley Wright and Norris, and infielder Everth Cabrera.

Tillman won't start until Tuesday

After watching Chris Tillman take pitcher's fielding practice Saturday at Angels Stadium, Showalter and pitching coach Dave Wallace decided to push the right-hander's start back one more day.

Tillman, who hasn't pitched since spraining his left ankle July 29, will start Tuesday's game in Seattle instead of Monday against the Mariners.

Tillman has said he no longer feels any discomfort in his landing leg when he pitches, but Showalter said Tillman was extra cautious during one of the fielding drills in which he had to stop and start.

"You could tell that he was a little tentative on it," Showalter said. "Not feeling it, but I think every day we can buy [is beneficial] and we can buy until Tuesday. So we are going to buy them all."

Because the club had a day off Thursday, none of the scheduled starters will have to pitch on short rest. Miguel Gonzalez will start Sunday's series finale against the Los Angeles Angels and Wei-Yin Chen will open the series in Seattle. Kevin Gausman will pitch Wednesday's game at Safeco Field.

Parmelee clears waivers, could play at Norfolk

Duquette said Saturday that infielder-outfielder Chris Parmelee, who was also designated for assignment July 31, cleared waivers and his contract was assigned to Triple-A Norfolk.

Parmelee, who hit .216 with four homers in 32 games for the Orioles, can accept the assignment or become a free agent and sign elsewhere. Showalter said he hopes the 27-year-old, who excelled defensively at first base, would stick in the organization.

"I know I got asked today about him by a couple of clubs," Showalter said. "I don't know [what he'll do]. We can present as good of an opportunity as anybody."

Around the horn

Showalter said infielder-outfielder Steve Pearce (left oblique strain) is working out in Sarasota, Fla., and is improving to the point that he should begin baseball activities such as hitting off a tee early in this upcoming week. Showalter is still hoping Pearce can be back before Sept. 1. … Right-hander Mike Wright (left calf strain) is expected to pitch from a mound this upcoming week in Sarasota, Showalter said. … Duquette said Saturday there was nothing new on dealing Snider, who was designated for assignment Friday. … Right-hander Jered Weaver will start for the Angels in Sunday's series finale against the Orioles. He has been on the disabled list since June 21 with left hip inflammation. ... Seattle ace Felix Hernandez will not face the Orioles next week. Instead, they'll get left-hander Vidal Nuno, right-hander Taijuan Walker and right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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