The Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization announced Thursday that they’ve re-signed righty Aaron Wilkerson to a one-year deal for the 2024 season (English link via Jee-ho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency). He’ll be guaranteed $750K and can take home another $200K of incentives.
Wilkerson, 34, logged big league time with the Brewers each season from 2017-19 but posted a 6.88 ERA in a combined 35 1/3 innings. He’s since pitched in Triple-A with the A’s and Dodgers in addition to stints in Japan’s NPB and, in 2023, in the KBO.
His first year of KBO ball was a strong one. The 6’3″ righty joined the Giants midseason and made 13 starts with a sterling 2.26 ERA in 79 1/3 frames. Wilkerson fanned 24.8% of his opponents against a tidy 6.1% walk rate alongside a strong 56.1% grounder rate.
The journeyman righty, who’s pitched in four different MLB teams’ minor league systems in addition to stints in indie ball and in Asia, will now take home a nice seven-figure salary that can reach nearly $1MM — a nice windfall at this stage of an 11-year grind through professional ball.
Perhaps he can further parlay strong overseas results into an MLB return in his late 30s. Even if that’s not in the cards for Wilkerson, a nice 2024 campaign would likely put him in position to re-sign in the KBO and continue earning at levels he’s rarely, if ever seen to this point in his career.