Yesterday, the Mariners signed OF/1B Brad Wilkerson (69/68) to a one-year deal worth $3 million, though it could be worth as much as $5 million depending on the number of plate appearances Wilkerson has this year. Basically, if he is an everyday starter and does not get injured (both legitimate ifs), then he will make the $5 million. In Wilkerson, the Mariners have acquired the left-handed version of Richie Sexson (67/65). Wilkerson is a bit younger and a little more versatile, but his great strength as a hitter is power, and his power comes with a ton of strikeouts.
However, perhaps the biggest deal about this signing is that it is likely a precursor to the Erik Bedard (96/94) trade. Bill Bavisi hinted last week at the "state of the Mariners address" that there may be deals connected to other deals, and he may make a deal on the assumption another one is going to take place. He has to be vague because of MLB rules, but it seems pretty clear he was talking about signing a guy like Wilkerson before losing Adam Jones in the Bedard deal. Wilkerson seems genuinely happy to be a Mariner, and John McLaren likes the way he plays, so it seems like a good fit. However, I personally would have gone after Shawn Green (80/77). He is still floating around the free agent market, and for how good he has been I am surprised that he is still out there. His power has diminished the past couple seasons, but he is still a good hitter, and has been durable throughout his career (his first trip to the DL was this past season with a broken foot). Still, Wilkerson does have more thunder in his bat than Green, and here's hoping he takes advantage of Safeco's right field porch a number of times.