The Nationals acquired catcher Derek Norris from the Padres for right-hander Pedro Avila, according to a team announcement.
Washington was known to be looking for additions behind the plate after the departure of free agent Wilson Ramos, and will add Norris to a mix that includes Jose Lobaton and prospect Pedro Severino. The Nats are known to be aggressively pursuing outfield upgrades and have had serious talks about acquiring Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates, but decided to fill their catching need first.
Norris, 27, struggled to a .186/.255/.328 line with 14 homers and 42 RBI in 125 games for San Diego, and was a candidate to be non-tendered by the club. He is due to be a free agent after next season.
Norris was originally drafted by the Nats in the fourth round of the 2007 draft before being traded to Oakland before the 2012 season.
Avila, 19, is a Venezuelan right-hander who posted a 7-7 record and 3.48 ERA in 20 starts with Single-A Hagerstown last season. He was ranked by MLB.com as the club’s 23rd-best prospect at the time of the deal.