Tigers GM stands by Derek Norris signing: He's 'a good kid'
A day after the Detroit Tigers gave catcher Derek Norris a minor-league deal, general manager Al Avila stood behind his decision to sign a player who's coming off of a season-ending suspension for breaching the league's policy on domestic violence.
"When we consulted with (MLB)," Avila explained to Tony Paul of the Detroit News on Wednesday, "they were like, 'The guy served his penalty, he should be able to sign, that's the way the process works.'"
Avila added, "We signed a good kid. ... We know this kid, it's not his character."
In June, MLB began investigating allegations that the 28-year-old Norris "physically and mentally abused" his former fiancee, Kristen Eck, during their relationship. Eck subsequently wrote a blog post detailing a specific encounter in which Norris put Eck in a chokehold and grabbed her by the hair.
Norris, then with the Tampa Bay Rays, was designated for assignment later in June and became a free agent. In September, MLB placed Norris on the restricted list, making him ineligible to join a roster for the remainder of the season.
The veteran became eligible again after the 2017 World Series, and he agreed to a minor-league deal with the Tigers on Tuesday.
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