Norris signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League on Monday, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports.
Norris was in camp with the Tigers this spring but was released after failing to make the team. The 29-year-old has a career .230/.304/.380 line over six major-league seasons.
Norris was released by the Tigers on Wednesday, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports.
Norris was expected to serve as organizational catching depth for the Tigers after failing to break camp with the big club, but with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Brayan Pena also in the organization, Norris was ultimately deemed expendable. He'll look to catch on elsewhere, but given his struggles at the plate over the past two seasons (.190/.256/.343 across 178 games), the 29-year-old will almost certainly have to settle for a minor-league deal.
The Tigers reassigned Norris to their minor-league camp Thursday.
The Tigers also reassigned fellow veteran backstop Jarrod Saltalamacchia to their minor-league camp Thursday, meaning that John Hicks has made the Opening Day roster as the second catcher behind top option James McCann. Norris has displayed some intriguing power relative to others at his position during his previous stops in the majors, but his poor approach at the dish has limited him to on-base marks below .260 both of the past two seasons. His return to the big leagues doesn't seem imminent.
Norris or Brayan Pena could make the Tigers' Opening Day roster as a third catcher, behind starter James McCann and John Hicks, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports.
New Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire often carried three catchers when he managed the Twins, and he's talked about the idea in Detroit. "If you have that luxury, it's really nice," Gardenhire said. "I've had that before. That's a really nice luxury to have. But I don't know if we have that here right now." Norris slashed just .201/.258/.380 in 53 games with the Rays last year, but he's blasted 10 or more home runs in a season three times in his career, so he can at least offer a little pop if he gets any playing time in Detroit.
Norris signed a minor-league contract with the Tigers on Tuesday which includes an invite to spring training.
Norris played in just 53 games last season before being released by the Rays and ultimately suspended following a domestic violence investigation. He hit nine homers in 198 plate appearances and was a plus behind the plate, but his offensive rate stats were downright bad (.271 wOBA, 68 wRC+). It's entirely possible that he'll break camp with Detroit, but he would likely be No. 2 behind James McCann if that were to happen.
Norris was suspended for the rest of the 2017 season following a domestic violence investigation, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post reports.
Norris is currently a free agent after being released by Tampa Bay on June 27. The 28-year-old will be eligible to return next season, but was officially placed on the restricted list and deemed ineligible for the remainder of the year.
Norris was released by the Rays on Tuesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The 28-year-old flashed decent power (nine home runs) this season, but was unable to show any consistency as he slashed .201/.258/.380 with the Rays. Norris will likely latch on elsewhere, but his poor numbers over the past two seasons should temper any expectations.
Norris will be designated for assignment Saturday to clear space for Wilson Ramos's return from the disabled list.
Norris just couldn't hack it at the plate for the Rays in Ramos's stead, as he mustered just a .188/.242/.347 batting line over 194 plate appearances. He was similarly bad in 2016 (.186/.255/.328), but it's possible Norris's strong campaigns with the Athletics will convince somebody he's worth a waiver claim.
Norris went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer and three runs Friday against the Orioles.
Norris clubbed his ninth homer of the season in the third inning to help the Rays pile up nine runs against Ubaldo Jimenez in a home win. Although his batting average is a huge liability, his ability to leave the yard gives him value, especially in leagues that require two starting catchers.
Norris is out of the lineup Wednesday against the Reds, Bill Chastain of MLB.com reports.
Norris will find himself on the bench for the second straight game after manager Kevin Cash elected to award the team's other backstop, Jesus Sucre, another start after Sucre connected on his third home run of the season Tuesday. While Norris still looks like the Rays' primary option behind the plate, Cash recently stated that Sucre has "earned the opportunity to get more reps" at catcher, suggesting that the team could choose to deploy more of a timeshare at the position going forward. If that's indeed the case, it will be detrimental to Norris' fantasy value, which had already been deflated due to his .188 average and .242 on-base percentage on the season.
Norris is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Reds, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Norris logged starts in the past three games, but he's still hitting just .118 over the past 30 games. Jesus Sucre will replace him behind the plate, and given Sucre's superior defense, this could occur more frequently moving forward if Norris is unable to turn things around at the plate.
Norris went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in Sunday's 9-1 win over the Tigers.
Norris' average is still disturbingly under the Mendoza Line, but he's hit safely in three of his last four games. The veteran backstop has also slugged a trio of homers in his last seven games, but with Wilson Ramos (knee) on the verge of returning, Norris could see a notable reduction in playing time soon.
Norris is not in the lineup Friday against the Tigers, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
This marks the second game in a row that Norris will watch from the bench. Norris has been in a dreadful slump at the plate as of late (.138 batting average over his past 30 games), and given his defensive blunder Wednesday evening, the Rays seem willing to see what Jesus Sucre can do with a couple extra starts. It's unclear if this is a complete changing of the guard while the team waits for Wilson Ramos (knee) to come off the DL, but things should sort themselves out in the coming days.
Norris is not in the lineup Thursday against the Tigers, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Norris had a rough night behind the plate Wednesday evening, so with wet field conditions due in Detroit on Thursday, he'll hit the bench for a bit of time off. Jesus Sucre will slot in behind the dish in his stead.
Norris will get a day off for Friday's matchup with the A's, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Norris earns a day of rest after smashing two home runs and three RBI during Thursday's series finale against the White Sox. In his place, Jesus Sucre will catch Alex Cobb and bat ninth in the order.
Norris slugged two home runs and accumulated three RBI Thursday against the White Sox.
Norris' numbers this season have not been great by any stretch of the imagination, as he entered Thursday hitting .190. However, his playing time has not suffered much because fellow catcher Jesus Sucre's numbers are not much better. The power Norris displayed Thursday is certainly encouraging, but it doesn't necessarily mean he will all of a sudden turn into an offensive juggernaut. Additionally, the 28-year-old is currently under investigation from Major League Baseball in a domestic violence case.
Norris (back) will start at catcher and bat ninth Wednesday against the White Sox, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The back injury had kept Norris on the bench the previous two games, but it appears that issue is no longer a concern for the backstop. While Norris is now expected to settle back into a regular role behind the dish for the Rays, he'll remain under investigation by Major League Baseball after a former fiancee recently alleged that the 28-year-old "physically and emotionally abused" her. It's unclear when the investigation will conclude.
Major League Baseball is investigating allegations that Norris (back) "physically and emotionally abused" his former fiancee, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Norris denied the allegations, saying they "could not be further from the truth." He added that he plans to go "above and beyond to assist MLB with their investigation into this matter."
Norris (back) remains out of the lineup Tuesday against the White Sox, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
A bout of back spasms kept Norris from Sunday's game, and it seems his back is still presenting issues even after a team off day Monday. If Norris doesn't get well in a hurry, the team won't have a choice but to add another catcher to the roster to help Jesus Sucre shoulder the workload.
Norris, who is dealing with back spasms, is out of the lineup Sunday against the Mariners.
Norris exited Saturday's game with the injury, and although he'll remain sidelined Sunday, he noted that he noticed some improvement with his condition overnight. The expectation is that Norris will be back behind the plate Tuesday against the White Sox, so those counting on him in AL-only or deeper two-catcher mixed leagues can probably feel safe in activating him this week. Backup Jesus Sucre will step in behind the plate for the series finale.
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2012||AAA-Sacramento River Cat||58||218||39||59||14||2||9||38||21||41||5||1||.271||.329||.477|
|2013||AAA-Sacramento River Cat||3||14||3||6||0||0||2||4||--||3||0||0||.429||.429||.857|