The Twins traded one Hicks in order to acquire a catcher. Now they’ve added a catcher named Hicks, too.
John Hicks, a 26-year-old catcher in the Mariners organization, was claimed by Minnesota on Wednesday, adding to the team’s depth behind starter Kurt Suzuki and newly acquired John Ryan Murphy. The Twins swapped outfielder Aaron Hicks to the New York Yankees for Murphy last month.
John Hicks, Seattle’s fourth-round pick in 2011 out of Virginia, batted .245 with six home runs in 83 games with Class AAA Tacoma last season. With a career .280 minor league average, Hicks made his major league debut last August, but went only 2-for-32 (.063) in 17 games for the Mariners.
In addition to Hicks, the Twins addressed their lack of catching depth earlier this week by signing former Mets and Brewers catcher Juan Centeno to a minor league contract.
After Tuesday’s addition of Byung Ho Park, Hicks fills the final open spot on the Twins’ 40-man roster. If the Twins plan to choose a player in next week’s Rule 5 draft — that’s how they acquired J.R. Graham last December — they will have to drop another player to make room.
The Twins have not yet decided whether to use their pick, which is 17th overall, and probably won’t until next week, assistant general manager Rob Antony said.
The Twins offered 2016 contracts to each of their six arbitration-eligible players by Wednesday’s 11 p.m. deadline. Eduardo Escobar, Trevor Plouffe, Eduardo Nunez, Kevin Jepsen, Tommy Milone and Casey Fien could have become free agents if the Twins had chosen not to tender contracts by the deadline.