Fans Shouldn't Miss - Jesse Winker
In a blockbuster trade right before the start of the 2022 season, Seattle received Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez from the Reds in a typical-of-the-franchise cost-cutting measure. Winker had been murderous at the plate, slashing .305/.394/.556 with 24 home runs and 32 doubles in 2021, getting many Mariners fans excited for the offensive possibliities.
Unfortunately, he failed to live up to the high expectations. While his plate discipline remained elite, his batting average and slugging percentage fell significantly, reducing his OPS from .949 in 2021 to .688 in 2022. In adition to being a disappointing bat, he had a penchant for getting into altercations (albeit justified ones) and a total lack of chemistry with the team. When asked why he was absent from the ALDS, Ryan Divish said
"I think by the end of the season, it's what scouts call a tired act. I just think some of his teammates were done with him, were just tired of putting up with him. I think the team is frustrated with him. Everything that Mitch Haniger does to prepare for a game to get ready, Jesse Winker's kind of the opposite. I mean, I can say it. He may not like it. I think he's not very physically strong. I don't think he puts in the time to be better defensively or to have a better arm or any of the work that should be done. And really it is counter to what has made this team great"
Despite some, including Jerry Dipoto, believing that Winker would rebound in 2023, he had a similar experience even after being traded to Milwaukee. Primarily serving as a platoon DH and receiving a total of just 197 plate appearances, he posted a .567 OPS and an rWAR of -0.7 while reaching new career lows in several Statcast categories, namely average exit velocity and sprint speed. He did wear a cool necklace while batting though!