Mariners President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto has done it again.
Mariners fans have been anxiously awaiting the first major move of the post-lockout era from President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto. Seemingly out of left field, the Mariners found two impact bats in OF Jesse Winker and 3B Eugenio Suarez. To secure the deal, the Mariners parted with SP Justin Dunn, OF Jake Fraley, SP Brandon Williamson, and a PTBNL (Player To Be Named Later).
Without knowing the PTBNL in the deal, Mariners fans should be ecstatic about this deal. Jesse Winker, an All-Star for the Reds in 2021 with two years of control left, can absolutely rake. Sporting an OPS+ of 140 and a slash line of .305/.394/.556/.949, Winker is immediately one of Seattle’s best hitters and provides a looming presence in the heart of the lineup. As a power lefty hitter, he provides some much-needed balance to a lineup heavy with right-handed sluggers.
Jesse Winker was the hidden answer to the Mariners question everyone was asking
Also coming back to Seattle is Eugenio Suarez. An All-Star in 2018, Suarez spent much of last season playing through injury. One would likely categorize his 2021 as disappointing, however, there is still reason to believe he can bounce back and return to being a serviceable starter in the major leagues. Just two years removed from a 49 HR season and a 131 OPS+, Suarez has a track record of being a legitimate threat from the right side. Keep a close eye on Suarez’s bounce-back campaign; it may be more likely than you think.
The package heading over to Cincinnati is headlined by SP prospect Brandon Williamson. A second-round pick out of TCU in 2019, Williamson has been a fantastic pitcher for the Mariners’ minor league squads. Putting up some hefty strikeout totals, his 6’7″ frame allows his stuff to play up from the left side. Williamson is close to major league ready and should see time in the big leagues for Cincinnati and their pitching staff.
Also included in the deal are OF Jake Fraley and SP Justin Dunn. Both on the big league roster last season, Fraley and Dunn both struggled to stay healthy and had varying levels of success when they were not on the IL. While neither player has had a large role at the MLB level to date, parting with both is not a major concern for the current roster as neither player was penciled in as a major contributor for this season or those to follow.
Mariners fans can finally take a sigh of relief; the M’s will not be left empty-handed at the end of the day. This deal is fantastic even if Suarez can’t find a way to rebound to his prior level of prowess. Winker is just that good. Barring a surprise inclusion of a Top-100 prospect as the PTBNL, Seattle got away with a screaming deal and exploited a Reds organization hungry to shed salary. Rejoice, Mariners fans. The lineup in the PNW just got a whole lot more formidable.