3:49pm: While Wilkerson had the option to elect free agency, he’s instead chosen to accept his assignment to Norfolk, the Orioles announced. Both Kline and Wilkerson will be in Major League camp as non-roster invitees during Spring Training.
12:37pm: The Orioles have outrighted righty Branden Kline and utilityman Stevie Wilkerson, per Dan Connolly of The Athletic (via Twitter). Both cleared waivers after recently being designated for assignment.
Kline, a former second-round draft pick, struggled to a 5.93 ERA in his first taste of the majors last year. He throws hard but didn’t fool many hitters, managing only 7.5 K/9 against 4.2 BB/9 while allowing nearly a fifty percent hard contact rate and 2.0 homers per nine innings. Kline will remain with the Baltimore organization, as he does not have the right to elect free agency.
As for the 28-year-old Wilkerson, he will have the right to choose a trip onto the open market. He has spent his entire career to date with the O’s after being selected in the eighth round of the 2014 draft. Wilkerson got a long look in 2019 but limped to a .225/.286/.383 batting line in 361 plate appearances. He has put up solid numbers at the plate in the upper minors and is capable of playing just about anywhere on the diamond