The Orioles announced Friday that they’ve claimed righty Travis Lakins off waivers from the Cubs. Infielder/outfielder Stevie Wilkerson was designated for assignment in a corresponding roster move.
Lakins, 25, was designated for assignment by the Red Sox earlier this winter and subsequently traded to Chicago for cash. Although he’d consistently ranked in the No. 15-25 range of a thin Boston farm system, the Ohio State product has yet to put together a particularly strong showing in the Majors or in the upper minors. Lakins made his big league debut this past season, yielding a 3.86 ERA with a lackluster 18-to-10 K/BB ratio in 23 2/3 innings for Boston. His work in Triple-A has been rather similar, as he’s compiled a 3.82 ERA with 8.4 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and slightly below-average grounder rates in parts of two seasons there. Lakins worked as a starter earlier in his career but has pitched primarily out of the bullpen the past couple of seasons.
Wilkerson, 28, is a career .219/.279/.365 hitter in 410 plate appearances — most of which came this past season in Baltimore. He’s spent time at all three outfield positions with the O’s in addition to second base and third base, although he’s most likely remembered by many for his absurd home run robbery against Jackie Bradley Jr. at Fenway Park this past season (video link). He also holds the distinction of being the first position player to earn a save, which he did when pitching the 16th inning of a marathon win over the Angels on July 25 of this past season.
The switch-hitting Wilkerson hasn’t spent much time in Triple-A but has had some success there, hitting .294/.340/.478 through 153 trips to the plate. Wilkerson has generally been a versatile defender with respectable batting average/on-base percentage marks but limited power in the minors; since being drafted out of Clemson in the eighth round back in 2014, he’s hit .268/.342/.371 in six minor league seasons.
Wilks is the backup center fielder and can move around the field pretty well but his bat is generally mediocre or poor. I guess they feel real confident in a rookie Austin Hayes playing center every day.
Mullins is definitely an option for backup CF. Valaika gives the O’s extra infield depth.
They also have Mason Williams.
NOOOO NOT STEVIE
Dr. Poo Poo. Someone should sign this guy, he could probably catch too.
Chief Two Hands
I have some good news and some bad news. Bad news first…the Orioles.
What’s the good news? Someone finally reading and responding to one of your comments?
Best eephus in the game. And if you hadn’t seen his catch the last game of the year vs the Red Sox, check it out.
Stevie is a hustler and a fan favorite in Baltimore, but it’s hard to argue they’ll miss his bat.
But that boi can pitch.
I’ll miss Stevie . Hopefully we can get lucky and Lakins figures it out.
Doesn’t seem like a sound financial move for the “cash strapped” Cub front office. Pay cash for the guy, then cut him?
Theo was forced to take a part time consulting job in order to pay for the error. He’s consulting customers as to whether or not they want fries with that.
Peart of the game
Maybe Baltimore will get rid of some more junk from their team.
Kind of surprises me about Wilkerson. Unlike 99% of these multi-positional guys, he actually played pretty good defense. And no, that doesn’t count the JBJ catch; the most surprised guy in the park that he caught it was himself. And the competition between Gary Thorne and Eckersely having the biggest aneurism.
Almost the perfect 26th guy, complete with switch batting (I won’t say switch “hitting” since he doesn’t do much of that).
That Lakins ranked in the mid-teens in the Sox system speaks nothing of Lakins and volumes about the Sox system.
Anyone who made the JBJ catch would have to be surprised.
It’s definitely surprising. He was probably the most versatile player on the entire roster. Didn’t do anything particularly well, but could fill in just about anywhere on the diamond.
Royals better pick him up. I see some potential in this guy. Sure his bat sucks but he’s already a solid fielder and is almost as versatile as Whit Merrifield.
I’m not disagreeing with your take but if the Royals go after someone multidimensional, Brock Holt would be mucho desirable.
Nooooooooo, the Brockstar HAS to stay in Boston!!!!
Larkins is a good pickup. He might be a starter or a middle reliever. Wilkerson I am hoping clears waivers and stay with the club.