Just acquired as the key piece in the David Price deal, new Tigers starter Daniel Norris showed plenty of promise in his first outing with his new club, as Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press writes. Inserted directly into the big league rotation after the swap, the southpaw held the Orioles to one run in 7 1/3 solid frames. Norris, 22, opened the year in the Blue Jays rotation and put up solid numbers despite struggling with his control, and will surely look to continue to whittle down the free passes. According to Baseball America’s top fifty midseason list, Norris rates as the 18th-best prospect in the game. As Fenech writes, he impressed his new team with his calm demeanor, quick and confident work on the mound, and varied arsenal.
Here’s more from Detroit:
- The Tigers will get a look at another young lefty that came over in the Price trade, as the team announced that Matt Boyd will take a start tomorrow. Boyd has thrived this year in the upper minors, putting up a 1.65 ERA over 114 2/3 innings with 8.5 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9, though he scuffled through two prior starts with the Jays.
- After striking a trio of big deals in which the Tigers parted with pending free agents to bolster their talent pool, GM Dave Dombrowski was looking ahead in his recent comments to reporters. As Fenech notes, though he is not currently under contract past the present season, Dombrowski spoke like a man who intended to continue on with the organization. There has been increasing speculation that other teams, such as the Red Sox, could look to make a run at bringing in the highly-respected executive, though we’ve yet to hear anything concrete on where things could be headed.
- Dombrowski explained that the deals he struck make for “a much stronger organization going into next year.” Though the club added several notable arms, Dombrowski said that he does not expect to stand pat on the club’s rotation, which could be in need of several other pieces. “Our starting pitching will be addressed in the wintertime,” he said. “I assure you that our goal going into next year will be to try to win a world championship.”
- It seems clear that the Tigers organization will continue to try to build around its veteran core in the near-term — after all, the team only traded players who were destined for free agency anyway — and a glance at the club’s future commitments reveals both needs and opportunities to match affordable young talent with a high-profile set of aging All-Stars. The club owes over $110MM to just five players (including pay-outs to the Rangers for Prince Fielder), and will lose several other important pieces to free agency. But arbitration shouldn’t be too terribly expensive — J.D. Martinez and Jose Iglesias are both in line for nice raises, but don’t have significant salaries to build off of — and the organization carried an Opening Day payroll over over $170MM, so there ought to be room to add.