The seattle mariners were in active trade talks as today’s 5:00 p.m. CT deadline approached to establish a roster ahead of next month’s Rule 5 Draft, and they’re showing their willingness to move left fielder/designated hitter Jesse Winker.
As expected for some time, the M’s have also discussed potential trades involving fifth-starter candidates. Chris Flexen and Marco Gonzalesthough the team has yet to engage in a scenario where Winker and one of those launchers would be moved in the same package:
Moving on from Winker would be a short sell on a player the Mariners acquired last offseason, hoping at the time that Winker could be a key element in the middle of the lineup. In the two seasons leading up to that trade, Winker was one of the top three hitters in the game against right-handed pitching, trailing only Juan Soto and Bryce Harper in terms of wRC+.
He posted a herculean .321/.417/.619 batting line in 509 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers, and while his production against other lefties wasn’t anywhere near that level, he still walked at a 12% pace against them, resulting in a .314 OBP. His .199 average and .338 slugging percentage against lefties were dismal, but at least Winker was able to get on base at a near-average rate when he found himself in disadvantaged platoon matchups.
However, what followed in 2022 was the worst season of Winker’s career by almost any measure. He walked a career-best 15.4% pace as a Mariner, but the 29-year-old’s .219/.344/.344 batting line was generally disappointing, especially considering he was acquired hoping to provide something. of power with the left hand to the alignment.
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