The Tigers announced that they have claimed catcher Mario Feliciano off waivers from the Brewers. Outfielder Bligh Madris was designated for assignment in a corresponding move. Feliciano had been designated for assignment last week.
Feliciano, 24, was selected 75th overall by the Brewers in 2016 and has had some prospect shine in his time in the professional ranks so far. Baseball America has considered him to be one of the top 30 Brewer prospects in each season since that draft, characterizing him as a bat-first catcher. He got as high as #6 at BA, on the heels of a 2019 season where he hit 19 home runs in High-A.
After the minor league were cancelled in 2020, Feliciano was added to Milwaukee’s 40-man roster but has struggled since then. A shoulder impingement in 2021 limited him to just 39 minor league games and a single contest in the big leagues. In 2022, he was frequently recalled and optioned but only got into a pair of MLB contests. In 77 Triple-A games, he hit .274/.326/.386 for a wRC+ of 90. After a couple of disappointing seasons, the Brewers designated him for assignment last week.
For the Tigers, their primary catcher in 2022 was Tucker Barnhart, who reached free agency at season’s end. That left them with Eric Haase and Jake Rogers as the only two backstops on their 40-man roster. Haase has been solid at the plate the past two years but his defense is graded poorly behind it, pushing him into spending some time at first base and left field. Rogers, meanwhile, missed all of 2022 due to Tommy John surgery. Given the state of the club’s catching corps, it makes sense for them to take a flier on Feliciano, who still has one option year remaining. He can serve as minor league depth until he earns his way into a larger role.
As for Madris, 27 in February, he was drafted by the Pirates in 2017 and was with them until recently. He’s hit well in the upper levels of the minors over the past couple of seasons but wasn’t able to maintain that in a brief MLB debut. In 104 Triple-A games last year, he hit .272/.352/.434 for a wRC+ of 111. This year, he took it up a notch to .294/.366/.482 and a wRC+ of 124.
That was enough to get him an audition in the big leagues, getting into 39 games for the Pirates this year. He hit just .177/.244/.265 in that period, however, getting designated for assignment in September. He was claimed by the Rays, who kept him in Triple-A until they, too, designated him, which led to another claim by the Tigers.
Madris will now head into DFA limbo for the third time in the past few months. The Tigers will have one week to trade him or pass him through waivers. He still has a pair of option years remaining and could appeal to clubs looking for a bit of extra outfield depth.
Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel announced Feliciano’s claim prior to the official announcement.
I hope he gets claimed by an organization who will give him some playing time.
Isn’t Feliciano now the fourth C on the roster behind Haase, Rogers and Papierski? It’s interesting that an OF had to go.
Papierski isn’t on the 40 man roster.
Thank you for the correction! That makes more sense, honestly…
I’m fired up ! Watch out for the 2023 version of the Motorcitykitties !
Sarcasm apparently lol
I’ll take a flier on Feliciano over resigning Barnhardt to what he’s getting in CHI, any day
Two A+ names right there
Yes! These moves really get the fan base excited.
For Love of the Game
These guys are more likely headed to Toledo than Detroit!
For Love of the Game
On paper this looks like a smart move. Offense appears comparable, so swapping out a 27 year old outfielder for a 24 year old catcher seems like a plus.
I hope they give him a fair shot. Mario worked hard for us and is still young enough to reclaim some of that prospect shine. His approach at the plate always looked good when I watched him, even if the numbers weren’t there.
His defense was absolutely atrocious last year in AAA. And he hasn’t hit much since 2019. I hope he figures it out too, but he was going the wrong way and is behind Henry in AAA and about to be jumped by Quero. Best of luck to Super Mario.
What exactly was.bad about his defense?
14 passed balls in 65 games. He threw out 15% of base stealers and his framing is suspect. Nashville benched him for their playoff game. He was getting to be borderline unplayable at C, which is part of the reason the Brewers released him.
He also hasn’t shown much if any power in the upper levels of the minors. I was hoping he would be the backup next year or split time but it sounds like the Brewers don’t trust him at all.
Kind of crazy that a .274 batting average can translate to a 90 wRC+, but obviously the on-base and slugging numbers are the most telling (very low walk and power nunbers). Definitely thought this guy would be the catcher of the future in Milwaukee, but the arrival William Contreras certainly made him expendable.
Maybe wonderboy mostly picking up castoffs is what the Tigers had in mind when they hired him as pres/gm, but what if it isn’t? Anybody who gives Matt Boyd $10M should have to spend the night walking John R. without a pistol and live to see the sun rise.
I’m sure if they pan out, you will be the person to praise him.
Honestly, what do you expect? Correa and Verlander? They spent $52m more in 22 than 21, and they are worse.
Wrong, I’m not a hypocrite…you don’t know me or anything about me but now I know something about you……project much?
Yupp, you got it all figured out dude
Okay “dude”……you don’t..
No, they got injured.
I thought the same about Matt Boyd until I saw the market rate of other pitchers. Everyone got overpaid. As far as picking up cast offs, good teams turn over the back half of the 40 man constantly. Can’t judge Harris until he gets to see what the Tigers have first hand.
I’ve said all along he should wait until ST to see what he has but HE set out the pieces he was looking for and hasn’t found one yet other than a starter who can’t throw strikes and Boyd who will be on the Dl by June.
There’s no such thing as a bad 1 year deal.
Actually, based on the free agent pitchers snagging 17 million per year, Boyd is a steal & can be flipped at the deadline. Dumb comment.
When Boyd is a “deal” at $10M I have to wonder if you follow the Tigers or baseball. He’ll be on the DL by June and un-flipable. Under the gee golly veneer, Boyd is a con man who makes million$ for a couple months of work a year and then heads home with a mysterious injury promising to be back as soon as I can until the season ends. Harris must know this…he’s signed him twice now and has gotten and will get ZIP in return, Comparing dumb comments, you win hands down.
The Tigers have 3 young players they need to play at 3B in ST to see what they have there. You don’t tank, draft high, and then block them by castoffs when they are ready to debut in MLB. They have 4 tested OFers….no need to bring in somebody else’s headache. They have Jake Rogers, part of the fleecing they took in the Verlander trade ready as a backup catcher. He’s rehabbed from TJ for the last year and they’d block him with some 30 something slug from the NL who doesn’t know the Tiger pitchers? Skubal will be back after the all star game. Mize? he quit on them with TJ on a ligament that wasn’t torn…dump him at first opportunity. E-Rod…send him somewhere, anywhere. Turnbull, Manning, Breisky, Faedo, and maybe Ty Madden should be part of the rotation…two of them will be blocked by these “veteran” ie “loser” starters by stupid Harris moves. I’ve been a fan since ’59 and have two WS championships, one of which I got to watch, the other was over by the time I got back from Vietnam. They told us last year the “rebuild” was over and I for one am way past tired of being lied to by pizza barons.
This team is Al Avila’s mess. Harris was never going to be able to fix it in an off-season. However, it’s pretty clear the owner isn’t interested in spending money to better the team. They could have gotten a few free agents to fill holes for not just next year, but the following years when they’re hoping to compete. I miss Mike Iitch. He’d have pulled a Cohen this year.
Feliciano will be alright as long as the royalty payments from his Fathers Xmas song keep rolling in.
Feliz Navidad !!
You know, Jose Feliciano, you got no complaints.
I hope Felliciano wins AL R.ookie of Year! Typical Brewers. Any sign of weakness in player game bury or dump them. Organization plays not to lose rather then playing to win
I know we have a surplus of LH OF’s (even though most can’t hit) but I would’ve much rather DFA’d Zack Short than Madris.
Yeah, but can’t do that after cutting both Castro’s, and Candelario. They are “short” of infielders.
I see what you did there, I like it.
Was wondering why they would drop a 23 year old catcher with solid offensive numbers (for a 23 year old catcher at least) but since the injury his SB% has dramatically tailed off. maybe his arm hasn’t recovered as hoped and they don’t feel he can stay at C? In his defense he gas gotten it back up I’m winter league.
If you think that Mario FELICIANO has a low Batting Average,
Check the baseball stats on Jose FELICIANO.
The Pirates should offer Japanese or Korean language lessons to their young players.
Get them a head start.
panic in detroit
Jose could have outhit most of last years team
The Saber-toothed Superfife
Diamonds in the rough strategy?
How can fans say, ” he needs to see what he has”? Last years standings and stats are available to anyone.
I guess it’s well known how loyal Tiger fans and baseball fans are…..
No urgency here.
The Saber-toothed Superfife
These writers and editors really need to learn how to use the word “too” in a sentence. This is just wrong: “He was claimed by the Rays, who kept him in Triple-A until they, too, designated him, which led to another claim by the Tigers.”
All you need to say is “until they too designated him, which…” the commas just obfuscate the sentence.
If Charlie Green couldn’t make this guy a catcher…yikes.
The Tigers should make a run at Eduardo Escobar from the Mets to play third base. They must get a veteran to play third, if not Escobar, then maybe former Marlin, Brian Anderson. Harris needs to give the loyal Tiger fans something besides signing two pitchers, one of which will likely be flipped at the deadline. We need a third baseman and an outfielder at least.
Hey, can someone please explain how in a matter of a few months Feliciano went from “catcher of the future” to being unworthy of holding a minor league spot? Was there something that happened behind the scenes that I missed? Let me know if you guys have any info on this.
He doesn’t fit the “image” of what current Brewers’ management thinks a Brewer should look like.