The Phillies have signed catcher/first baseman John Hicks to a minor league deal, per Baseball America’s Chris Hilburn-Trenkle. Presumably, Hicks will be invited to participate in major league Spring Training, though an official announcement has not been made.
Hicks, 33, has appeared in six separate MLB seasons dating back to 2015. He’s gotten into 264 major league games in his career, mostly with the Tigers but also with the Mariners and Rangers. He’s hit 32 home runs in that time but with subpar walk and strikeout rates. His overall slash line is .236/.279/.401 for a wRC+ of 78.
He signed a minor league deal with the Cubs for 2022 but never got the call to the majors. In 95 Triple-A games, he hit .261/.313/.510 for a wRC+ of 112. Defensively, he got into 67 contests as a catcher but also saw some limited time at the infield corners.
The Phillies already have one of the best catchers in the game in J.T. Realmuto and a solid backup in Garrett Stubbs. They have a couple of depth options on the 40-man in Donny Sands and Rafael Marchan. However, they did subtract from their overall depth by trading Logan O’Hoppe to the Angels in the Brandon Marsh deal. Adding Hicks will give them a veteran option to on hand should a need arise.