Houston Astros Roster
- AL West
- Minute Maid Park
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker said that he isn't sure if outfielder Michael Brantley (shoulder) is hitting yet or if he'll be ready for Opening Day. Baker said he plans on treating Brantley like NBA star Kawhi Leonard, welcoming him back when he is ready so he can "carry" the team. Brantley missed the final three months of the 2022 season after having surgery to fix the labrum in his right shoulder in August. The 35-year-old veteran is back on a one-year deal, but there's a good chance he won't be ready for the start of the season. When healthy, he should be a lineup regular between left field and designated hitter duties. Brantley doesn't have much pop -- only two 20-homer campaigns in 14 MLB seasons -- but he's a solid asset for average and on-base percentage.
Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman (finger), who broke his left index finger in Game 6 of the World Series, said he's been swinging a bat since Jan. 1 and that it has healed well. It's good news for Bregman and anyone that plans on drafting him this spring, although his spring training performance will be worth watching to see if the finger is negatively affecting him in any way. The 28-year-old slugger reached the 20-homer mark for the third time in his career in 2022, finishing with a .259/.366/.454 slash line, .820 OPS, 23 home runs, 93 RBI, 93 runs scored and a stolen base in 656 plate appearances and 155 games played. Despite the injury, Bregman should be considered a top-10 fantasy third baseman heading into the 2023 season.
Houston Astros prospect Pedro Leon (hernia), the team's No. 4 prospect per MLB Pipeline, had sports-hernia surgery on Tuesday and will not be in attendance at major-league spring training. He is expected to be out for roughly six to eight weeks. It's a tough break for the 24-year-old heading into the 2023 campaign, ensuring that he'll begin the season in the minors. The outfielder/infielder hit .228/.365/.431 with 17 home runs, 63 RBI, 71 runs scored and 38 stolen bases at Triple-A Sugar Land last year and could certainly make his MLB debut with Houston at some point later in 2023. Leon has above-average bat speed, plus raw power and can run on the basepaths. How quickly he makes his debut and how well he plays once he's there will depend on whether he can make more contact at the dish.
The Houston Astros and left-handed starting pitcher Framber Valdez agreed on a one-year, $6.8 million deal on Friday to avoid salary arbitration. Valdez was excellent in his fifth season with the Astros and earned his first All-Star selection. He finished the year 17-6 with a 2.82 ERA (3.06 FIP), 1.16 WHIP and 23.5 percent strikeout rate in 31 starts. Valdez led the league with three complete games, one shutout, 201 1/3 innings pitched, 827 batters faced and 0.5 home runs allowed per nine innings. The 29-year-old southpaw was absolutely dominant in Houston's run to another World Series championship as well. He'll enter the 2023 season as an SP2 for fantasy managers.
The Houston Astros acquired outfielder Bligh Madris from the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday in exchange for cash considerations. Madris will be put on the team's 40-man roster, which now sits at 39 players. The 26-year-old made his major-league debut in 2022 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, playing in 39 games and hitting just .177/.244/.265 with a .509 OPS, one home runs, seven RBI, 10 runs scored and two stolen bases in 123 plate appearances. He was designated for assignment by the Tigers around two weeks ago and now finds his way to Houston, where he'll serve as organizational outfield depth in 2023. Madris could see time in the big leagues next season, but he'll likely be in the minors for the Astros.