New Mariners OF Jesse Winker: ‘We’re gonna be really good’

Mar 15, 2022, 9:48 AM | Updated: 7:54 pm

Mariners OF Jesse Winker...

Jesse Winker of the Reds rounds the bases after hitting a solo homer against the Dodgers. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

(Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

The Mariners added to their lineup in a big way on Monday, acquiring All-Star sluggers Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez from the Cincinnati Reds in one of the biggest moves of the offseason.

Mariners Trade Breakdown: Close look at Winker, Suárez

By completing the move, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto accomplished his goals of acquiring a slugger for the middle of the lineup and a proven left-handed bat.

Suárez checks the box of being a middle-of-the-order presence, but Winker checks both boxes as he has a good deal of pop and is one of the best hitters from the left side in the game, especially against right-handed pitching.

Winker, a 2021 National League All-Star outfielder, reported to Mariners camp on Tuesday to meet his new teammates and coaches, but before that he stopped to join Seattle Sports’ Mike Salk Show – which is at M’s spring training in Peoria, Ariz., all week – for a quick impromptu interview.

Winker said that leaving the Reds, the organization that drafted him in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft, was difficult and there were “some tough goodbyes,” but he’s looking forward to joining a Mariners team that won 90 games a year ago.

“I’m so excited,” Winker said ” … We’re gonna be really good. I’m excited. I’m excited to meet everybody, I’m excited to see all the fans in Seattle. I’ve always wanted to be a part of a winning team and that’s what we want to do here. So I’m pumped.”

When asked by Mike Salk what his favorite thing to do as a baseball player is, Winker initially said hit, but quickly changed his answer.

“Well, really, win. Win first. I like to hit, but I just like to play,” he said. “I like to play ball, I like to win, I like to be part of something bigger than just the fundamental things. I like to be a part of something big and special and I’m looking forward to this.”

Eugenio Suárez

Winker said he knows a few people on the Mariners already but he will have a longtime friend to lean on in Suárez.

Suárez’s first name is pronounced “AY-you-hay-nee-oh,” but Winker, who has been his teammate for the past five seasons, said to keep it simple with the slugging third baseman.

“I call him Geno … I think you’re gonna be good with Geno,” he said.

So what should we know about “Geno,” a 2018 All-Star who has the most home runs in baseball (129) since 2018 and set a National League record for home runs by a third baseman in a single season with 49 in 2019?

“He’s awesome, man,” Winker said. “Awesome. I mean, I’ve seen that guy hit some really far homers in a lot of ballparks. So he’s outstanding player. Outstanding family. Very cool that he’s over here with me. I’m a big fan of Geno … He’s the man. He’s funny.”

Listen to the full interview with Winker at this link or in the player below.

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