The Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a deal that will send International League MVP Matt Hague to Japan’s Hanshin Tigers for $300,000, an industry source told Sportsnet. While the deal hasn’t been completed, Hague has been removed from Toronto’s 40-man roster.
Hague batted .338 with a .416 on-base percentage and a .468 slugging percentage with the Buffalo Bisons this year on his way to winning the triple-A MVP award. The right-handed hitter hit 11 home runs and 33 doubles while driving in 92 runs and leading the International League in hits for the third time in five years with 177.
Hague, a line drive hitter with doubles power, has considerable experience at both corner infield positions. The 30-year-old debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012 and was claimed on waivers by the Blue Jays two years later.
The Blue Jays now have 34 players on their 40-man roster including first base options Edwin Encarnacion, Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak. At third base Matt Dominguez provides depth behind reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson.
The Blue Jays have recently begun the process of adding non-roster players, signing first baseman Casey Kotchman, shortstop Jiovanni Mier, second baseman David Adams, catcher Humberto Quintero and left-hander Scott Diamond to minor league deals. Those additions help offset the loss of Hague and the Blue Jays' own minor league free agents.
The terms of Hague's deal with the Tigers aren't known.