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Wilkerson leaves team

03.29.09 at 2:15 pm ET
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Red Sox manager Terry Francona confirmed to reporters this morning that outfielder Brad Wilkerson has left the Red Sox. He doesn’t figure to be in the major league team’s plans heading into the regular season.

Wilkerson, who had signed a minor-league deal, had an opt-out option in his deal that permitted him to leave the team up until April 1. Wilkerson was hitting just .119 in 42 at-bats, striking out 18 times. The competition for the spot to fill the back-up first baseman/fifth outfielder role — one that Mark Kotsay figures to be in line for upon returning from back surgery sometime in May — now figures to be coming down to Chris Carter and Jeff Bailey. The left-handed hitting Carter is hitting .350, while Bailey, a right-handed hitter, has totaled a .357 batting average. Both are considered no better than average defenders. Carter has options left, while Bailey is on a minor-league deal, so neither would be forced to clear waivers.
 
If he did make the team, Wilkerson would have received $275,000 for reaching each of the following roster thresholds: 60, 90, 120, and 150 days on the active major league roster. He would have also received an additional $200,000 for reaching 300, 350, 400, 450, and 500 plate appearances. The entirety of the package could have reached as much as $2.5 million.

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