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Mariners trade for Mike Kickham

The M's add a lefty who hasn't had a great career. But neither has the player they gave up to acquire him, so...

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Add another arm onto the stack. The M's have acquired 26 year-old lefty Mike Kickham from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Dutch minor league pitcher Lars Huijer. The Cubs had previously claimed Kickham off waivers from the Giants on December 23rd.

Kickham has operated mostly as a starter in the minors, posting a 4.43 ERA with a whopping 1.584 WHIP in AAA Fresno for the Giants organization last year. It came attached with a 4.04 FIP and .355 BABIP, but Kickham comes with a classic minor league lefty skillset -- poor control and shelled by righties.

Kickham has had a few scattered appearances in the majors that haven't gone well at all, tossing just two innings in 2014 and 28.1 in 2013. Both seasons ended with ERAs in the double digit range paired with disastrous peripherals, but small sample size is fairly evident here.

Kickham has pretty good stuff, but he's struggled to translate it into positive results at any upper level. Scouting reports on him were a lot higher in the minors than they were in the majors, as his fastball now sits in the low-90s as compared to previous reports that had him around 95. Chances are the Mariners either see something in Kickham that can translate to a lefty specialist role, or they simply desire rotation depth in AAA. It's probably inconsequential either way, as Kickham hasn't done much to indicate he can fill either role admirably.

Pitcher Lars Huijer is the cost. Huijer most recently got shelled at High Desert -- 6.52 ERA, 27 BB to 32 K ratio. He can't miss bats and has wild control, but was still ranked #17 in last year's top prospect list. Huijer was signed as an international free agent from the Netherlands when he was 17, back in 2010.