It’s become pretty obvious that the Mariners have a type in their acquisitions, and that type is “former top-round pick” and also “former member of the New York Metropolitans,” with bonus points awarded for “utility infielder who can play across the diamond and maybe even in the outfield if we squint.” So how were they to resist the allure of utility infielder Jake Hager, 2011 first-round pick by the Tampa Bay Rays and 2021 New York Met? To be fair, Hager, a former Brewers farmhand, was claimed off waivers from Milwaukee, who had in turn claimed him in late May after he was DFA’d by the Mets, who had signed him to a minor-league contract this off-season. Hager is somehow only 28 despite having a decade’s worth of service time in pro ball, because that’s what happens when you attend MLB’s School of Hard Knocks instead of college.
After electing free agency from the Rays, Hager signed with the Brewers organization in 2017 and joined their Double-A team, where he had his best-ever year as a pro with the Biloxi Shuckers. Those offensive gains didn’t translate after a promotion to the Colorado Sky Sox, despite playing in the bounciest offensive environment in the minors, and in 2019 Hager opted to sign with the Mets on a minor-league deal.
It was the Mets who gave Hager his chance to be a big-leaguer, but he only saw eight plate appearances before they cut him loose, so there’s no good footage of him in the majors. There is, however, plenty of footage of AEW wrestler Jake Hager, and honestly, that might be more entertaining than a career .260 hitter in the minors, no offense.
In a corresponding move, Evan White has been moved to the 60-day IL, but it’s retroactive to when he first went on the IL, so he’ll be eligible to return by July 13 if everything goes well in his rehab. With such a long layoff, though, it will take some time for White to get back up to playing speed, so I wouldn’t expect to see him back immediately when he’s eligible.
Update: one more roster move today, as well, although it’s of the “Tacoma shuffle” variety:
Roster moves:— Mariners PR (@MarinersPR) June 22, 2021
Donovan Walton, INF, recalled from Triple-A Tacoma
Yohan Ramírez, RHP, optioned to Triple-A Tacoma
Walton is probably up to spell Ty France during this week of off-days (three! in one week!) after the latter seemed to aggravate his wrist on a swing late in Sunday’s game. Hopefully that’s all the rehab that will be needed for France, who’s been resurgent in June, slashing .314/.402/.543 after his stats took a hard tumble in May (.190/.271/.238). Get/stay well soon, Ty!