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05/08/08 11:20 PM ET

Mariners ask for waivers on Wilkerson

Club intends to give outfielder his unconditional release

SEATTLE -- The Mariners on Thursday asked for irrevocable waivers on outfielder Brad Wilkerson with the purpose of giving him his unconditional release.

Wilkerson, signed as a free agent on Jan. 31 for $3 million, batted .232 (13-for-56) in 19 games with the Mariners. He was designated for assignment on April 30, when Seattle promoted catcher/designated hitter Jeff Clement and right fielder Wladimir Balentien from Triple-A Tacoma.

On the same day, the Mariners also designated switch-hitter Greg Norton for assignment and ended up trading him to the Braves for cash considerations or a player to be named later.

The Mariners were confident the 30-year-old Wilkerson, who went into the season with 118 home runs and 371 RBIs in six full Major League seasons, would make up for some of the offense lost in the departure of Jose Guillen to free agency. But Wilkerson, who hit 34 home runs for the Expos in 2004 and 20 for the Rangers last season, struggled during Spring Training and again during the regular season.

Wilkerson is now a free agent, and any Major League organization can sign him for a prorated portion of the $390,000 minimum salary. His one-year, $3 million salary, negotiated by agent Scott Boras, is guaranteed.

Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.