O's, Wilkerson agree to Minor League deal

October 29th, 2020

After a lost 2020 season for , the switch-hitting utility-man is back in the fold with the Orioles.

The Orioles agreed to terms on a Minor League contract with the versatile Wilkerson on Thursday, in turn reuniting with one of their most popular players of the past few years. He received an invite to big league Spring Training as part of the deal. The club also signed Minor League deals with catcher Taylor Davis, right-handers Marcos Diplán, Mickey Jannis and Ofelky Peralta and infielder Ryan Ripken.

Wilkerson, 28, missed the entire 2020 season due to a phalanx fracture in his left ring finger, an injury he suffered near the end of Summer Camp. He recently completed rehabbing the injury and is expected to be fully healthy by Spring Training. Wilkerson was released in September to clear room in the Orioles’ 60-man player pool, at which point the club signaled it would be open to bringing him back once roster restrictions were lifted. That has now happened.

An infielder by trade, Wilkerson earned his first real big league look as the answer to the O’s center field vacancy in early 2019, emerging a fan favorite later that summer after making a series of mop-up (and sometimes historic) pitching assignments. He’s appeared at seven different positions for the Orioles since 2018, hitting .219 with 10 homers and a .644 OPS in 133 games overall.

Depending on what other roster decisions the Orioles make this winter, Wilkerson figures to enter spring as a candidate to provide depth at both corner outfield spots, as well as second base and potentially third.