Wyman & Bob react to Mariners trading Winker and Toro for Wong
The Mariners have made their third notable trade of the offseason, this time acquiring two-time Gold Glove second baseman Kolten Wong from the Milwaukee Brewers. Going from Seattle to the NL Central are outfielder Jesse Winker and infielder Abraham Toro.
Wong comes to Seattle on the last year of his contract and after posting a 3.1-WAR season for the Brewers while Winker’s lone year in Seattle was a disappointment to say the least after a 2021 All-Star campaign. Toro also struggled after coming to the Mariners in a trade during the 2021 season.
Shortly after the news broke of the Mariners’ latest trade, Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton hit the Seattle Sports 710 AM airwaves for Wyman and Bob and shared their initial reaction to the move.
“On some levels I like that they were able to shed themselves of Jesse Winker and to a lesser extent Abraham Toro,” Stelton said. “… And you’d look at both of those (trades) and go, well, on the surface, those weren’t good trades for the Mariners.”
Stelton called Winker’s 2022 season a “disaster” due both to poor results at the plate and reports that he wasn’t a hard worker and presented issues for the Mariners’ clubhouse. Toro’s tenure also wasn’t very good offensively, and that trade cost the Mariners at least two more months of star reliever Kendall Graveman in 2021.
What about the acquisition of Wong itself?
“Kolten Wong is not your long-term answer,” Stelton said. “This feels like a duct tape move. And I’m not saying he’s not going to be good and he won’t come here and do good thing. Let’s be clear on what I’m saying. What I’m saying is he’s not a young guy in the world of sports. He’s 32 and he’ll be 33 next year.”
“I don’t feel like it’s their long-term answer like you said as far as second base goes,” Wyman later added. “… The thing that really stands out to me – and it’s kind of like the trade for Teoscar Hernández – is that you didn’t really have to give up that much.”
“So you got rid of (Toro) and then Jesse Winker, which was a huge problem. So I mean, I didn’t think they were gonna be able to get anything out of him (in a trade) and so they got (this deal done),” Wyman said later.
What the Mariners did need this offseason, Wyman said, was another left-handed bat for the lineup, and Wong checks that box. But that also brings up a potential issue with Wong’s play as he slashed just .138/.266/.175 against left-handed pitching in 2022 compared to .277/.357/.489 against righties. In his career, Wong has been worse against lefties than righties, but not nearly as bad as in 2022.
“It makes me wonder is this somebody they feel like they can run out there every single game regardless of whether the opposition has a lefty or righty on the hill, or is this going to be a situation where they’re platooning at second base?” Stelton said. “Maybe Dylan Moore is going to be (the guy against left-handed pitchers).”
“I guess what’s bugging me is I just don’t know that you provided any answers at second base,” Stelton later added. “I think it’s a ‘for now’ guy is what it feels like, just based on his age, based on what he’s done righty versus lefty. I don’t know how far down the road you’re planning with Kolten Wong. And again, you certainly allow for the idea he comes in here and surprises you. But if you’re just looking at it on its surface, I’m going OK, this feels like a ‘for now’ answer.”