Brewers Sign Pair to Minor League Deals with Spring Training Invites

Both players have seen very brief time in the majors.
Apr 29, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Easton McGee (59)
Apr 29, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Easton McGee (59) / Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
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The Milwaukee Brewers made a couple minor league signings on Tuesday that included invitations to spring training. And one of the players has as perfect of a name for the organization as possible.

Per Adam McCalvy, Brewers beat writer for MLB.com, Outfielder Brewer Hicklen and right-handed pitcher Easton McGee were signed to contracts by the Brewers. The former signed himself a one-year contract while the latter is signed for two years.

Hicklen was a 7th round pick of the Royals back in 2017 and had spent his entire career in the Kansas City organization before he was traded to the Phillies for cash late in 2023. He can play all three outfield positions.

The 27-year-old hit the Triple-A level for the first time in 2022, the same season he got a brief cup of coffee in the bigs with the Royals. He has a solid slash line of .262/.357/.472 in his 577-game minor league career with 108 doubles, 90 homers, and 317 RBIs. He also has very good speed and has been successful on 247 of 280 stolen base attempts.

Hicklen has just six games of MLB experience and is 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and a run scored.

McGee, meanwhile, was a fourth round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2016 draft. He has since been a member of two other organizations, being claimed off waivers by the Red Sox after the Rays designated him for assignment in October of 2022 who then traded him to the Mariners a month later.

McGee has worked almost exclusively as a starter for his entire professional career having started 96 of 106 career games in the minors and one of two games in the majors. He has pitched at the Triple-A level for each of the last two seasons outside of pitching one game each for the Rays and Mariners in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

For his minor league career, McGee has a 4.30 ERA and 1.265 WHIP and has allowed opposing batters to hit .272. He doesn't strike a ton of batters out as evidenced by his 6.6 K/9 but also doesn't walk many as his 1.8 BB/9 would suggest (for reference, Julio Teheran was the only Brewers starter with a lower walk rate than that in 2023).

After a long relief appearance with the Rays in 2022, McGee was excellent in a spot start for the Mariners last season, giving up just a hit and a walk in 6.2 shutout innings while striking out two. Unfortunately, he had Tommy John surgery in May and will miss a portion of the upcoming season, hence his two-year contract.

Both players will likely be assigned to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds.

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