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.