Cubs trade Kickham to Seattle for Minors pitcher Huijer

Cubs trade Kickham to Seattle for Minors pitcher Huijer

CHICAGO -- Left-handed pitcher Mike Kickham, who the Cubs claimed off waivers from the Giants, is now headed to the Mariners. Kickham, who was designated for assignment on Jan. 9 to make room on the 40-man roster for Chris Denorfia, was traded Wednesday to Seattle for Class A pitcher Lars Huijer.

A native of the Netherlands, Huijer, 21, pitched for Clinton and High Desert last season, and he went a combined 6-9 with a 5.08 ERA in 28 games (24 starts), with 76 strikeouts over 124 innings. In 2013, he was 8-2 with a 3.03 ERA in 14 games (13 starts) at Class A Everett.

Kickham, 26, was waived by the Giants following their signing of Jake Peavy. The lefty was 8-8 with a 4.43 ERA in 27 starts last season for San Francisco's Triple-A affiliate, where Kickham has spent the past two seasons.

Scouting report on Huijer

A product of the Mariners' consistent efforts to mine European talent, Huijer signed out of the Netherlands in 2011. The big right-hander split time in 2014 between the Class A Midwest League and Class A Advanced California League, almost exclusively as a starter. The 21-year-old has an intriguing three-pitch mix and there is some ceiling for him to reach. His fastball sits mostly in the upper-80s with a lot of ground-ball-inducing sink. He throws a big, slow breaking ball in the mid-70s along with an upper-70s changeup. When he's successful, he does a good job of keeping the ball down in the strike zone. As he adds strength and experience, the hope is he'll command the ball better (4.4 BB/9 in 2014) and reach his potential as a mid-rotation starter.

-- Jonathan Mayo

Top 20 Prospects: Cubs | Mariners

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.