The Tigers and first baseman/outfielder Bligh Madris have agreed to a minor league pact, reports Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press. His contract includes an invitation to major league spring training.
The 27-year-old Madris was briefly in the Tigers organization last offseason after they claimed him off waivers from the Pirates. Detroit wound up designating Madris for assignment themselves, however, and ultimately traded him to the Astros in exchange for cash.
Madris spent the entire season in the Houston organization, appearing in a dozen big league games plus another 100 contests at the Triple-A level. He hit just .154/.267/.192 in a tiny sample of 30 MLB plate appearances in addition to posting a .235/.349/.413 slash in 456 trips to the plate with Triple-A Sugar Land. In all, he’s appeared in 51 MLB games between Houston and Pittsburgh but has struggled to replicate otherwise solid production from the upper minors.
The lefty-swinging Madris has consistently put up solid numbers against right-handed pitching, turning in respective OPS marks of .811, .837 and .836 from 2021-23 when holding the platoon advantage. Overall, he’s a .266/.355/.448 hitter in parts of three Triple-A campaigns. The Tigers’ outfield currently consists of Mark Canha, Parker Meadows, Riley Greene and Akil Baddoo, with utilityman Zach McKinstry also in the mix for corner time. Madris will give the Tigers another lefty bat to compete for playing time in the outfield and potentially at first base, where former No. 1 overall pick Spencer Torkelson is entrenched after a 31-homer season and breakout second half in 2023.