Wilkerson, 34, has pitched professionally since 2013. He logged 14 big league appearances, all of which came with Milwaukee between 2017-19. Wilkerson spent part of last season in Japan with the Hanshin Tigers before returning to the U.S. for 2023. He’d been in the A’s system on a minor league pact, working to a 6.51 ERA through 47 innings with Triple-A Las Vegas.
The A’s granted Wilkerson his release last week. That was apparently so he could pursue the KBO opportunity, which’ll be the first of his career. (Oakland subsequently signed righty Zack Godley as non-roster rotation depth). Wilkerson has a 4.02 ERA over parts of five Triple-A seasons, striking out just under a quarter of opponents in the process.
In a corresponding transaction, Lotte released veteran righty Dan Straily. KBO teams are permitted a maximum of three foreign-born players (two pitchers) on the roster. The Giants will move forward with Charlie Barnes and Wilkerson. Straily has spent four of the last five seasons with Lotte. He was effective for the bulk of that time, including a 2.50 ERA in 2019 and a 2.31 mark over 11 starts after re-signing last August.
Straily hasn’t quite found his groove in 2023, however. He has a 4.37 ERA with a 19.2% strikeout rate and elevated 10.2% walk percentage through 80 1/3 innings. That led the Giants to move on and put Straily back on the open market. The 34-year-old was in affiliated ball last season, spending some time with the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A club. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since an eight-year run from 2012-19.