The Cubs on Thursday announced that they’ve claimed outfielder Jacob Hannemann off waivers from the Mariners and designated infielder/outfielder Mike Freeman for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Hannemann was originally with the Cubs earlier this year but was claimed off waivers by the Mariners in September. He’ll now return to the organization that selected him in the third round of the 2013 draft.
The 26-year-old Hannemann made his MLB debut with the Mariners following that claim, though he collected just 20 plate appearances over the final month of the season and hit .150/.150/.300 (3-for-20 with a homer and four punchouts).
Through 322 PAs with Triple-A Iowa in 2017, Hannemann slashed .265/.324/.404, though his rough Double-A performance dragged his cumulative batting line down to a less palatable .240/.312/.372. Baseball America rated Hannemann as Chicago’s No. 23 prospect last offseason, writing that he has 70-grade speed and is the “best athlete in the Cubs system.” However, he also has a fringy arm in the outfield, per their report, and has never demonstrated that much power in the minors.
The 30-year-old Freeman saw time with the Cubs, Mariners and Dodgers in 2017, appearing at all four infield positions but mustering just a .100/.182/.183 slash in 66 trips to the plate. Freeman’s jack-of-all-trades status on the defensive end of the spectrum and quality on-base numbers in Triple-A have made him a desirable commodity to round out 40-man rosters over the past couple of seasons, though. He’s played every position other than catcher over the past two seasons and has a career .312/.377/.420 batting line in parts of four Triple-A campaigns.