Mariners acquire 2B Wong from Brewers for Winker and Toro

Dec 2, 2022, 1:21 PM | Updated: 3:07 pm
Mariners Kolten Wong...
Kolten Wong of the Milwaukee Brewers rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Cincinnati Reds on Sept. 22, 2022. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Middle infield was a top priority for the Mariners entering the offseason and that has been addressed via trade.

The Mariners have traded for Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong in exchange for outfielder Jesse Winker and utility man Abraham Toro. The Mariners are also getting cash considerations from the Brewers in the trade, the team said in a press release.

The move was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and The Athletic. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports the Brewers are sending $1.75 million to Seattle as part of the trade.

Wong, 32, is a two-time Gold Glove winner who the Mariners had reportedly been interested in during the 2020-21 free agency cycle. Wong instead signed with the Brewers after eight seasons in St. Louis with the Cardinals. Wong won Gold Glove awards at second base in 2019 and 2020 for the Cardinals before signing with the Brewers.

Wong is a left-handed hitter and is entering the final year of his contract.

“We have long coveted Kolten’s well balanced all around game. He also brings veteran leadership and a winning pedigree that will make a difference for us both on and off the field,” Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said in a press release.

Since debuting in 2013, Wong has appeared in 1,102 games and owns a career .261/.334/.398 slash line with 82 home runs, 378 RBIs and 117 stolen bases. In two years in Milwaukee, Wong slashed .262/.337/.439 with 29 home runs and 97 RBIs in 250 games.

The trade marks the end of disappointing tenures for two recent Mariners trade acquisitions in Winker and Toro.

Winker, 29, was a key part of the Mariners’ offseason less than a year ago when they acquired him and third baseman Eugenio Suarez from the Cincinnati Reds. Winker was the key to that trade as he was a 2021 All-Star starter who had a massive year for the Reds. But Winker never got going for the Mariners, slashing just .219/.344/.344 in 136 games before his season ended due to injury.

Toro, meanwhile, was the key return in a 2021 trade with the Houston Astros that sent star reliever Kendall Graveman to Seattle’s top rival. Toro played a lot of second base in the second half of that year but overall struggled in Seattle, posting a .213/.276/.342 slash line in 169 games between 2021 and 2022.

The acquisition of Wong also almost certainly means the Mariners will not be landing one of the big four All-Star shortstops in free agency in Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, Trea Turner and Dansby Swanson.

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