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Wilkerson signs with Mariners, but where is Bedard?
2008-01-31 19:14
by Bob Timmermann

Free agent outfielder Brad Wilkerson signed a one-year, $3 million contract with Seattle and according to Gregg Bell of the Associated Presss, this could mean that the Erik Bedard deal has been moved from the back burner to a front burner. Or possibly to a really good hot plate.

Wilkerson can play all three outfield positions plus first base, and for weeks the Mariners have discussed trading outfielder Adam Jones to Baltimore along with others for Bedard.

"I'd be lying to you if I said I haven't been following it," Wilkerson said of Seattle's on-and-off push for Bedard to become its staff ace. "I've been following it quite a bit, actually."

Jones, a top prospect, had been slated to be the Mariners' starting right fielder this season, replacing the departed Jose Guillen. Last weekend, the Mariners called him back from the championship series of the Venezuelan Winter League for what Jones reportedly said was a physical with Baltimore that would finalize the trade for Bedard.

Since then, the Orioles have reportedly canceled the physical and Jones has idled. Wilkerson seized the opportunity, choosing a prime chance to start in right field in Seattle over an offer from Boston to mostly be a bench player.

"Well, I think we'll see about that," Wilkerson said of potentially replacing Jones in right field for Seattle on opening day against Texas on March 31. "I definitely believe I have an opportunity for that job."

Wilkerson also has the opportunity to make an additional $2 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances: $50,000 each for 325, 350, 375 and 400; $100,000 each for 425 and 450; and $200,000 each for 475 and each additional 25 through 650.

That's all a tad rich for a backup to Jones, but more appropriate for a starting right fielder.

2008-01-31 19:54:04
1.   ToyCannon
Far cry from 3/21 that he was rumored to be asking for. Always been a fan, hope he turns it around with them.

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