The Mariners had long been rumored to be in the market for trading for a second baseman. There were a couple names floating around out there, but Dipoto and crew finally made their decision. The M’s traded Jesse Winker and Abraham Toro for Kolten Wong.
I think this surprised people to see that the Mariners still had Chris Flexen after making a trade on this level. It really seemed like he was going to be a part of this trade, and it was a position that the Brewers could’ve used some depth at, even though the top of their rotation is nasty.
Rumors had swirled that the team was looking to move Jesse Winker, although it was sort of hard to believe. They ended up selling fairly low on him, after moving a couple of nice prospect pieces last season in the deal for Winker and Eugenio Suarez. Pairing him with another disappointing Mariner, Abraham Toro, the Mariners now have an immediate upgrade at second base.
I talked about this the night it happened with a couple of other guys on the site, to varying opinions. Personally, I’m a big fan of the move, and here’s why.
Take a look at what the Mariners did at second base last year compared to what Kolten Wong did. Then, we are going to try and show the average over the last four years as well for both of those. The 19-22 numbers are Wongs per 162 to give a more accurate comparison. He did play in 84% of the games, so we can expect 135-140 games from him.
- Mariners 2022 – 162 Games .224/.289/.319. 9 HR, 15 SB, 23 2B, 74 OPS+,
- Kolten Wong 22 – 134 Games .251/.339/.430. 15 HR, 17 SB, 24 2B, 118 OPS+
- Wong in 19-22 – .269/.346/.421. 15 HR, 21 SB, 31 2B, 109 OPS+
Wong also has four straight years of 3+ WAR, at 5.1, 3.5, 3.3, and 3.1 compared to the Mariners, who have seen WAR numbers of -1.6, 1.6, 0.8, and 1.4. Add that all up, and you can see that Wong provided 15 WAR while the Mariners were only at 2.2 WAR. That’s a massive difference and should show this year for the Mariners.
I think this is a great move for the Mariners, and is their third trade of the offseason so far. I fully expect more moves to come down the pipeline, and with how much Jerry Dipoto and crew have going on behind the scenes, I think we will see two more moves by the Mariners during the Winter Meetings. The newest is Kolten Wong, and I’m excited to see what he brings to the Mariners.