Kickham, 26, was designated for assignment when the Cubs made their signing of Chris Denorfia official. Chicago had claimed the southpaw off waivers from the Giants earlier this winter. Kickham has struggled in 30 1/3 big league innings yielding a jarring 37 earned runs in that time. He’s fared better in the minors, where he sports a 4.37 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 259 innings at the Triple-A level. Presumably, he’ll provide the Mariners with some organizational depth that can be stashed at Triple-A, as he does have a minor league option remaining.
Huijer, who hails from the Netherlands, split his age-20 campaign (2014) between Class-A and Class-A Advanced. After strong seasons in Rookie ball (2012) and short-season Class-A (2013), Huijer posted respectable numbers at Class-A Clinton, registering a 4.02 ERA with 5.5 K/9 but a somewhat troublesome 4.3 BB/9 rate in 71 2/3 innings. The leap to High-A was more difficult, though that’s to be expected given the fact that he was roughly three years younger than the league average. In 52 1/3 innings in the California League, Huijer struggled to a 6.54 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9. He allowed eight homers in his short time there despite only having surrendered 11 in 228 2/3 prior career innings.
Baseball America ranked Huijer 28th among Mariners farmhands last offseason, prior to his struggles, noting that he figured to add to his 85-90 mph fastball as he filled out. BA noted at the time that he projected as a back-end starter with potential for more growth, though his development obviously didn’t go as planned in 2014. As Mike Salk of ESPN 710 in Seattle notes (Twitter link), this caps a bizarre scenario in which the Mariners acquired Justin Ruggiano from the Cubs to replace Denorfia, who then signed with the Cubs, prompting a DFA of Kickham, who was then dealt to Seattle.