The Astros have acquired first baseman/outfielder Bligh Madris in a trade with the Tigers, per announcements from both clubs. The Tigers, who recently designated Madris for assignment, will receive cash considerations in exchange. Houston’s 40-man roster in now at 39.
Madris, 27 in February, was selected by the Pirates in the ninth round of the 2017 draft. He worked his way up the minor league ladder with a solid eye at the plate, not providing much power but generally posting healthy walk rates without striking out too much. In 2021, he got his first taste of Triple-A, walking in 10.4 percent of his trips to the plate while going down on strikes in just 18.2 percent of them.
In 2022, he continued that good work in the minors and was selected to Pittsburgh’s roster in July. He got into 39 big league games but hit just .177/.244/.265 in that sample. He was designated for assignment in September, getting claimed by the Rays, though the latter club kept him in the minors to finish the year. They then sent him back into DFA limbo in September, with the Tigers putting in a claim, though they then gave him his third DFA of the year in December.
Though Madris didn’t show much in the majors this year, he did well in 81 Triple-A games between the Pirates’ and the Rays’ systems. He posted a 9.9 percent walk rate against a 22.2 percent strikeout rate, leading to a combined batting line of .297/.366/.510 and a wRC+ of 130.
For the Astros, they had a couple of open roster spots and have decided to use one of them to grab Madris.He has limited experience at first base and in center field but has primarily been a corner outfielder. The Astros should have Kyle Tucker in one corner while Yordan Alvarez and Michael Brantley will likely be sharing another corner and the designated hitter slot. Alvarez dealt with some nagging injuries in 2022 while Brantley underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in August. Madris still has a couple of option years remaining and can give the club an extra layer of cover for an injury but could also be sent to the minors if he’s not needed in the big leagues.