Wilkerson heads for open market
After splitting 2008 with M's and Jays, outfielder opts for free agency
TORONTO -- Just one day after the conclusion of the World Series, outfielder Brad Wilkerson turned in the proper paperwork and filed for free agency after spending most of the season with the Blue Jays.
Wilkerson, 31, struggled offensively throughout the 2008 campaign between stints with Seattle and Toronto. Considering the bevy of outfielders, including young left fielders Adam Lind and Travis Snider, that the Jays plan on bringing back next season, it's unlikely that Wilkerson will be in the club's plans for '09.
In 104 games this past season, Wilkerson hit .220 with four home runs and 28 RBIs over 264 at-bats. After a slow start with the Mariners, who signed Wilkerson to a one-year deal worth $3 million last offseason, Wilkerson was designated for assignment on April 30 and later signed as a free agent by the Jays on May 9.
After hitting just .232 over 19 games with Seattle, Wilkerson went on to hit at a .216 clip with four homers and 23 RBIs in 85 games for Toronto. With the Jays, Wilkerson provided a left-handed bat off the bench and filled in as a part-timer in all three outfield spots and at first base.
In eight seasons in the Majors, Wilkerson has batted .247 with 122 home runs and 399 RBIs between stints with the Jays, Mariners, Rangers, Nationals and Expos. Wilkerson's best showing came in 2004, when he hit .255 with a career-high 32 homers and 67 RBIs for Montreal.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.