The Seattle Mariners are sending OF Jesse Winker and IF Abraham Toro to the Milwaukee Brewers for second baseman Kolten Wong, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. This is a solid move for Seattle, who acquired OF Teoscar Hernandez earlier in the offseason. With a surplus of outfielders, they ship Winker and Toro to Milwaukee for the two-time Gold Glove winner Wong.
The Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers are finalizing a trade that will send outfielder Jesse Winker and infielder Abraham Toro to the Brewers for second baseman Kolten Wong and around $1.75 million in cash, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. It’s at the finish line.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 2, 2022
The Mariners finished the 2022 season with a 90-72 record and made the playoffs as a Wild Card team. They swept the Toronto Blue Jays in two games in the Wild Card round but then were on the wrong side of a sweep from the eventual World Series Champion Houston Astros in the AL Division Series. Wong should instantly slot in as the team’s starting second baseman overtaking the incumbent Dylan Moore.
Wong played in 134 games last season as the starting second baseman for the Brew Crew. He hit .251 with 1-8 hits, 24 doubles, four triples and 15 home runs with 47 RBI. Wong also was second on the team with 17 stolen bases and is considered one of the better all-around second basemen in the league.
The Brewers ended up losing their grip on the NL Central lead as the season wore down to the wire. They finished with an 86-76 record, seven games behind the St. Louis Cardinals and did not make the postseason. Losing Wong creates a hole at second for Milwaukee, but if they don’t make an outside move, it will likely be Luis Urias or Keston Hiura manning the position, with Toro trying to rise up the depth chart through spring training. Winker should be a perfect fit either in the outfield or as the DH for the Brewers.
Winker is a power hitter that played in 136 games last season. It was his first and only in Seattle, and he hit .219 with 15 doubles, 14 home runs and 53 RBI. Winker went famously viral for a fan sending a pizza to him during a game that he was ejected from last season. He will likely play right field if he plays defense or will be the team’s DH, especially against right-handed pitching.
Toro played in 109 games for the Mariners, splitting time around the infield. He was a better defender than a hitter, as he only hit .185. Despite the low average, he was effective at slugging with 13 doubles, one triple and 10 home runs with 35 RBI. He should compete for second base for the Brewers but will likely be more of a depth piece to start the season.