Avila relishes opportunity as new Tigers GM

Avila relishes opportunity as new Tigers GM

DETROIT -- New Tigers executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager Al Avila spent nearly a quarter century working with Dave Dombrowski, from Latin American operations to scouting director to top assistant. He had the type of rise that logically leads to a shot as a general manager, but teams never hired him.

On Tuesday, Avila finally got his shot, and he doesn't have to leave town to do it. The flip side, of course, is that he's replacing his old boss and longtime friend as GM. Dombrowski was released from his contract as president and CEO on Tuesday afternoon.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Verlander struggles in Tigers' loss to Royals

Verlander struggles in Tigers' loss to Royals

DETROIT -- Catcher Salvador Perez launched a two-run homer off Justin Verlander and drove in three, leading the Royals to a 5-1 victory over the Tigers on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.

Kansas City tagged Verlander for five runs on 10 hits, highlighted by Perez's blast in the fourth inning on an elevated fastball. The Royals added insurance runs in the fifth and sixth, the latter of which came when Alex Rios' shallow fly ball dropped into left-center for a double.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

What's next for Tigers under new leadership?

What's next for Tigers under new leadership?

DETROIT -- The Tigers had just finished a whirlwind 48 hours on the road, watching their clubhouse change at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. They returned home to watch their front office shift on Tuesday as Al Avila took over as the executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager.

"For a majority of us on this team, obviously, we've never experienced anything like this," catcher Alex Avila said of Dave Dombrowski's departure from the organization after 14 years, "so it's definitely different."

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boyd set for Tigers debut in showdown with Royals

Boyd set for Tigers debut in showdown with Royals

Left-hander Matt Boyd will make his first start with the Tigers just six days after joining the club as part of the non-waiver Trade Deadline deal that sent ace David Price to the Blue Jays.

Boyd (0-2, 14.85 ERA), the Tigers' No. 8 prospect, according to MLB.com, will take the hill on Wednesday night in the middle game against the Royals at Comerica Park. Though the southpaw struggled in two outings with the Blue Jays earlier this season, he went 9-2 with a 1.65 ERA in 19 Minor League starts.

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Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Avila replaces Dombrowski as Tigers GM

Avila replaces Dombrowski as Tigers GM

DETROIT -- The Tigers and president/CEO Dave Dombrowski parted ways on Tuesday, ending a 14-year tenure that saw the Tigers rise from the worst season in American League history to a pair of World Series appearances and four straight AL Central titles.

Al Avila, Dombrowski's top assistant since 2002, was named general manager and president of baseball operations, reporting directly to owner Mike Ilitch. He'll handle all responsibilities related to baseball operations, while executive vice president of business operations Duane McLean will assume all operations on the business side.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Auspicious debuts for new Detroit prospects

Norris, Fulmer, Jones and Boyd make favorable first impressions for their respective Tigers teams

Auspicious debuts for new Detroit prospects

If the early returns are any indication, Detroit has to be feeling good about its trade Deadline haul.

Tigers No. 5 prospect Michael Fulmer was the latest prospect to show off his stuff. The right-hander debuted for Double-A Erie on Tuesday night, tossing 6 2/3 scoreless innings as the SeaWolves took down the Portland SeaDogs, 3-0. His line also included two walks and two hits against six strikeouts.

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Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hessman becomes Minors' HR king

Toledo Mud Hens slugger swats 433rd dinger

Hessman becomes Minors' HR king

On Monday night at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Mud Hens third baseman Mike Hessman stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the seventh inning and hit a grand slam to left-center field, becoming the Minor League home run king in grand style.

Hessman's 433rd Minor League homer -- off a fastball from Lehigh Valley pitcher Dustin McGowan -- broke the record set by Oakland Oaks slugger Buzz Arlett more than six decades ago. It was not, however, enough to push the Mud Hens by the IronPigs as they lost, 10-8, in 11 innings.

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Lindsay Berra is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dazzling debut: Norris thrills new team

Lefty stifles Orioles over 7 1/3 innings to earn win

Dazzling debut: Norris thrills new team

BALTIMORE -- Daniel Norris had a three-run lead before he threw his first pitch as a Tiger. He also had his catcher impressed. James McCann had barely met Norris, facing him in Spring Training. Together with pitching coach Jeff Jones, McCann and Norris had to come up with a game plan for an Orioles lineup that had blistered Tigers pitching the past three nights.

"We didn't necessarily talk about what we wanted to do to each hitter," McCann said. "We just talked about how we wanted to approach the lineup as a whole, how we were going to use his stuff to have success. And he followed the game plan."

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers end 'tumultuous' trip on high note

Norris' eye-opening debut caps wild week on road

Tigers end 'tumultuous' trip on high note

BALTIMORE -- Brad Ausmus is rarely at a loss for words. He had to pause Sunday when asked to describe the Tigers' just-completed road trip in one word.

"I'm trying to give you a good word," he told reporters after the Tigers' 6-1 victory over the Orioles, as he looked back over the past 10 games over three different cities, and everything that happened in between.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Jones on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Orioles' No. 29 prospect throws no-hitter, strikes out nine

Jones on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

Left-hander John Means barely snuck onto MLBPipeline.com's Orioles Top 30 Prospects list, checking in at No. 29. While he may not have the highest profile in Baltimore's system, he's raising it after his performance in July.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Norris cools Orioles in stellar Tigers debut

Norris cools Orioles in stellar Tigers debut

BALTIMORE -- Daniel Norris made his Tiger debut with 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball, supported by an outburst off Ubaldo Jimenez, as Detroit split a four-game series against the Orioles with a 6-1 win Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.

Norris, the centerpiece of the prospect package the Tigers received from Toronto for David Price three days earlier, displayed a Price-like efficiency that belied his early-season stint in Toronto. The 22-year-old left-hander retired 12 batters in a row after Chris Davis' fourth-inning solo homer and needed just 79 pitches to get through seven innings. A Jonathan Schoop single in the eighth ended Norris' afternoon with four hits allowed, a walk and five strikeouts.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospects begin arriving to Tigers system

Minor League depth boosted by 6 highly rated additions

Prospects begin arriving to Tigers system

BALTIMORE -- The prospects the Tigers acquired leading up to Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline have begun to filter into the farm system, changing the look at Triple-A Toledo and Double-A Erie for the final month of the Minor League season.

The centerpiece of the prospect package in the Price trade, Daniel Norris, delivered 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball Sunday against the Orioles to win his Tigers debut, 6-1. The third pitcher, Jairo Labourt, started Friday for Class A Lakeland, allowing four runs on seven hits over four innings with four walks and five strikeouts.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Daniel Norris stops gravity to make great diving play

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Daniel Norris stops gravity to make great diving play

 As all popcorn/baseball lovers know, David Price was traded to Toronto last week. In exchange, the Tigers picked up a handful of prospects, including the van-driving, Jack Johnson-listening Daniel Norris.

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Long ball continues to pester Sanchez

Tigers starter ranks 2nd in AL for home runs allowed

Long ball continues to pester Sanchez

BALTIMORE -- Anibal Sanchez now ranks second in the American League in home runs allowed. He might lead the league in frustrations over them.

He was still looking over video of his outing when the clubhouse opened to reporters following Saturday's 6-2 loss to the Orioles. The Tigers right-hander pored over footage of Caleb Joseph's two-run homer in the fourth inning and Manny Machado's solo shot that knocked him out in the seventh. He was left with the same frustrations as previous outings.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers' bats slowed as Sanchez struggles

Tigers' bats slowed as Sanchez struggles

BALTIMORE -- In a series heavy on runs, it was the Orioles who were able to finally keep things under wraps.

Baltimore got a quality seven innings from right-hander Kevin Gausman and used home runs from Caleb Joseph and Manny Machado to record a 6-2 win over the Tigers in front of a soldout crowd at Camden Yards on Saturday night. Gausman allowed only a two-run homer to Nick Castellanos in the fifth inning, holding a lethal lineup to four hits.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

V-Mart working to fix swing amid slump

Tigers believe DH's surgically repaired knee not an issue

V-Mart working to fix swing amid slump

BALTIMORE -- Most of the Tigers were still rolling into Camden Yards as Victor Martinez stepped into the cage, taking extra batting practice early Saturday afternoon. His pitcher was manager Brad Ausmus, taking matters into his own hands.

With Martinez in the midst of a second-half slump -- he entered Saturday 11-for-58 (.190) since the All-Star break with no home runs since July 17 -- the player and the coaching staff are trying to figure out the root cause. Contrary to popular belief, they don't believe it's the knee, but the swing.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

J.D. Martinez fouls ball off knee, day to day

Outfielder exits in 3rd inning after trying to play through it

J.D. Martinez fouls ball off knee, day to day

BALTIMORE -- After losing David Price, Yoenis Cespedes and Joakim Soria at the Trade Deadline, the Tigers have another loss to try to handle. All-Star right fielder J.D. Martinez left Saturday's game -- a 6-2 Orioles victory -- after fouling a second-inning pitch off his left knee.

X-rays revealed no structural damage. Martinez is listed as day to day with a left knee contusion, but holds out hope he can play in Sunday's series finale.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Norris joins Tigers with eyes on playoff push

Norris joins Tigers with eyes on playoff push

BALTIMORE -- No, Daniel Norris isn't going to be living in a van in Detroit. He has a car, and he'll have a place to live. And if he can translate his pitching potential into big league success, he'll likely have a home.

Get past the stories of his quirks, from the Volkswagen van Norris lived in during Spring Training to the $800 monthly allowance on which he reportedly subsides, and there's a soft-spoken, hard-throwing left-hander with several above-average pitches and a chance to help the Tigers immediately, starting Sunday at Camden Yards against the Orioles. And for that, the 22-year-old Norris feels like he hit the Trade Deadline jackpot.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Offense churning after Deadline shakeup

J.D. swats 28th homer of season in slugfest loss to Orioles

Offense churning after Deadline shakeup

BALTIMORE -- The Tigers' reboot finally took a piece out of Detroit's starting lineup Friday night. It did not seem to slow down the offense.

If the Tigers had been scoring like this a week earlier, they might have had a run in them ahead of the Trade Deadline after all.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers show pop before O's storm back

Tigers show pop before O's storm back

BALTIMORE -- A night after coming within one run of a comeback victory, the Orioles were able to overcome a six-run deficit on Friday night to top the Tigers, 8-7, at Camden Yards.

Detroit chased a Baltimore starter after 3 1/3 innings for the second night in a row, this time at the expense of Wei-Yin Chen. The Tigers collected 10 hits and six runs off the lefty, including a two-run long ball from J.D. Martinez in the third inning, and back-to-back homers from James McCann and Jefry Marte in the fourth.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers net 2 Mets prospects for Cespedes

Right-handers Fulmer, Cessa help restock farm system

Tigers net 2 Mets prospects for Cespedes

BALTIMORE -- The last major piece of the Tigers' reboot plan went through on Friday afternoon. Detroit waited until the final hours before the 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline to put together a deal for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who went to the Mets for right-handed pitching prospects Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa.

The deal follows Thursday's trades of David Price and Joakim Soria for prospects, restocking Detroit's farm system. Six of the top 15 in MLBPipeline.com's new Tigers prospect rankings came from the three deals.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wilson new keystone in no-roles bullpen

Righty records 5-out save in Tigers' first game minus Soria

Wilson new keystone in no-roles bullpen

BALTIMORE -- Tigers relievers were getting ready to head out to their center-field bullpen at Camden Yards on Thursday when they saw Joakim Soria called back.

"We saw Soria get pulled into the office and kind of figured," left-hander Blaine Hardy said. "Losing a guy like that is tough, but we tried to make the best out of it out there, making [predictions] out there about who's going to close."

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers move quick, get three pitchers for Price

All-Star hurler goes to Toronto for package of lefties headlined by Norris

Tigers move quick, get three pitchers for Price

BALTIMORE -- Less than 24 hours after the Tigers began their rebooting plan, they moved their biggest piece. Detroit sent All-Star left-hander David Price to Toronto on Thursday in exchange for a package headlined by left-handed starter Daniel Norris.

The Tigers also received left-handed prospects Matt Boyd and Jairo Labourt.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Price, teammates remember his Tigers tenure

Price, teammates remember his Tigers tenure

BALTIMORE -- For the second time in a year, David Price stood in front of reporters and talked about being traded away at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. This time, however, he at least wasn't caught by surprise.

The hints at the Tigers selling by July 31 had been coming long before Thursday's trade that sent Price to the Blue Jays for Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd and Jairo Labourt. The official heads-up came Wednesday afternoon as they headed out of Tropicana Field, Price's old home park. By the time Price filed into Camden Yards, he was no longer a Tiger.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Clubhouse keeps eyes on Wild Card race

Despite selling key pieces, Tigers 3 1/2 games back of playoff spot

Clubhouse keeps eyes on Wild Card race

BALTIMORE -- The visiting clubhouse at Camden Yards was a little quieter, a little emptier Thursday night, despite a 9-8 win for the Tigers. David Price had long since left, riding out of the clubhouse on his traveling bicycle to catch a plane for Toronto. Joakim Soria had been pulled into the manager's office and shipped out to Pittsburgh before game time as his fellow relievers had started the walk out to the center-field bullpen.

Yet amid the shock of a team in seller's mode, the television set at the far end of the clubhouse seemed to defy the mood, showing the final innings of the Twins' win over the Mariners. Minnesota's win kept the Tigers' American League Wild Card deficit at 3 1/2 games, and a White Sox loss at Boston meant one fewer team in front of Detroit.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers net Pirates prospect for Soria

Dombrowski praises shortstop Jones' big bat potential

Tigers net Pirates prospect for Soria

BALTIMORE -- The Tigers once expected to be contending at this point, with Joakim Soria following David Price on game day. This wasn't what they had they mind.

While the Tigers readied for their series opener against the Orioles -- a 9-8 Detroit victory at Camden Yards on Thursday night -- Soria followed Price out of town. The Tigers traded their closer to the Pirates for shortstop prospect JaCoby Jones in a one-for-one swap.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers roar early, hold off relentless O's

Tigers roar early, hold off relentless O's

BALTIMORE -- The Tigers exploded for 16 hits on Thursday night in a 9-8 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards, giving Detroit its first consecutive victories since July 8-9 as the team tries to gain ground in the American League Wild Card race on the day it traded away starter David Price and closer Joakim Soria.

The Tigers' offense scratched five runs off Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez and four more off reliever Bud Norris, with J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes each contributing three RBIs. But for as good as the offensive production was, it didn't overshadow the night of Detroit starter Alfredo Simon, who picked up his 10th win of the season. The right-hander gave up two hits, both home runs, over 5 2/3 innings in his first career appearance against the Orioles after playing in Baltimore from 2008-11.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.