The Detroit Tigers made two notable additions on Tuesday. They signed center fielder Leonys Martin, whose defense at least, should be a boon to run prevention. And they added catcher Derek Norris, who saw his best years as part of Oakland Athletics teams who repeatedly fell to the Tigers in the playoffs. Norris is just 28, and while his bat has collapsed over the past few seasons, he could be a decent depth addition. However, Norris comes with some baggage.
He was suspended for the final month of the 2017 season for a violation of Major League baseball’s nascent domestic violence policy.
Norris served his suspension, and was never charged with a crime, so he was perfectly eligible to be signed. But for a lot of people he’s going to be a difficult player to have as part of their baseball team. General manager Al Avila heard the outcry, but, as Tony Paul of the Detroit News reports, Avila issued a defense of the move and is satisfied that any issues are in Norris’ past.
Lance Parrish is ready to rock in West Michigan
A story that has flow a bit under the radar over the last few months, has been the influx of talent at the catcher position. The Tigers added a pair of good prospects at the position in Joey Morgan and Sam McMillan in the 2017 draft. Then the big prize came in the Justin Verlander deal, where they acquired one of the best catching prospects in the game, Jake Rogers, from the Houston Astros. Suddenly catching depth looks like a strength in the Tigers’ farm system. And they’ve got just the man to teach them.
Lance Parrish knows a bit about catching. And teaching has become his passion since hanging up his spikes. The Tigers’ great will take over as manager of the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2018, and it’s probably not a coincidence that he arrives just as the two catching prospects do. Jason Beck of MLB.com talked to Parrish about his love for coaching and how the move to West Michigan fits into developing the young talent the team is beginning to stockpile.
Ian Kinsler makes the grittiest snowman.
Daniel Norris has the offseason beard dialed in.
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Around the horn
Jason Beck previewed the Tigers’ goals at the Winter Meetings, which begin this weekend in Orlando, Florida. Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs continues polling readers on their confidence in their teams’ front office. Eno Sarris investigates a major improvement in Lance Lynn’s changeup.
Jon Heyman at FanRag Sports says that the San Diego Padres should be favored to land Japanese superstar, Shohei Ohtani. The Seattle Mariners traded for more international bonus pool money, leading Ohtani rumors back in their direction. Then the Los Angeles Angels did the same. Maybe you should try this too, Al Avila.