Mariners and Jesse Winker are reportedly at odds and butting heads
Some of you may already know. Others of you (like us) may have found out today, on the 18th of October. As things stand, the relationship between the Mariners, their clubhouse, and Jesse Winker is not a good one. It doesn’t sound past repair, but things are definitely not good between Winker and the Mariners.
The Mariners and Jesse Winker might be done
One of our contributors actually brought it to the team’s attention this morning. While on 710 ESPN with Brock and Saulkthis morning, Ryan Divish was asked about Jesse Winker. Divish hasn’t tweeted his thoughts, but you can hear them online here. Maura Dooley, a producer on the show, did tweet out some of what Divish said…
There was more as well. Here are some of the highlights from that conversation on the radio.
- Players are tired of Winker’s act. Tired of putting up with him. The team was frustrated with him.
- He wasn’t even with the team and didn’t go to Toronto or Houston. The Mariners likely told him to just go home.
- Haniger and Winker are opposites. Haniger puts in all the work, and Winker puts in none. Not to improve defense or his arm, and just isn’t strong enough.
- Expected to play just by showing up.
- If he didn’t get to play a DH, he would essentially pout, causing other players to have to play all 18 innings.
- The team puts in a ton of work to get ready, and he does nothing. Doesn’t follow through with what his responsibilities are.
- There are going to be hard conversations with him, or they are just going to move on.
When you put up one of the worst defensive seasons in all of baseball, this isn’t something that can come out about you. All year, I had tried to defend him. Whether it was just a down year with the move, injury, or some combination, I was in his corner still. I rep those Good Vibes, and was trying to do it with Winker.
However, this throws all that goodwill out the window. You cannot have a player like this on the team. I understand being upset if you aren’t doing well. This is different. You’re actively going against what the team stands for. From Perry Hill and the defense putting in 12 minutes before every game on fielding to the love and joy you see from almost every player on the team, you just can’t have reports like this come out relating to the player who was already the biggest disappointment in 2022.
There’s another thing here that is big to me, and it’s the Haniger stuff. He came out last year with his famous quote.
"We’re going to end this F****** drought"
The dude posted videos all offseason how he was prepping, trying to get in the best shape of his life and prep for this season. Everything you hear and see from him was Haniger trying to back up his quote. Sure, he was hurt (again) with the ankle, but he still worked his butt off. He played well when he was in, and even was an above-average defender at 0.1 dWAR. Winker, on the other hand, was a -2.4. He literally cost the Mariners multiple games with his bad defense.
Maybe the strength thing is why Winker couldn’t hit the ball as well this year. He had slacked off a bit and wasn’t in good enough shape. That’s straight conjecture, but it seems reasonable.
Then there are guys like Cal Raleigh, putting up historic moments and iconic Franchise memories. It looks awful for Winker when you see someone like Raleigh playing through a chipped bone in his thump and torn ligaments.
It brings up more questions about the outfield going forward. It doesn’t sound like Winker is going to be able to remain on the team unless he makes a major change. With Julio, Kelenic, Haniger (fans want him back), a couple of minor leaguers that could see a chance, the UT guys (Moore/Haggerty), and the want for a big FA bat, it doesn’t seem like there is going to be a spot for Winker.
It’s definitely going to be one of the storylines that Mariners fans need to keep an eye on this offseason. For now, it sounds like Jesse Winker is in deep water with the Mariners, and might have played his last game with Seattle.