1 Brewers trade that will begin to hurt this year
By Drew Koch
The Milwaukee Brewers made several transactions during the offseason, all of which were designed to keep the team competitive, but also to usher in some of the organizations younger talent.
The Brewers did not spend much in free agency, as the only notable addition was left-handed starter Wade Miley. But Milwaukee did make a handful of trades. The Brewers shipped Hunter Renfroe off to LA for three pitchers, and also acquired catcher William Contreras from the Atlanta Braves.
But one trade that may begin to hurt the Milwaukee Brewers are in contention is the absence of Kolten Wong. The Seattle Mariners acquired Wong in a deal that brought former All-Star Jesse Winker and infield prospect Abraham Toro to the Cream City.
Will the Brewers regret trading Kolten Wong to the Mariners?
There was certainly merit to making the swap. Moving Kolten Wong will allow the Milwaukee Brewers to anoint Brice Turang as the team's starting second baseman in 2023. Turang manned the keystone so far this season, and so long as Willy Adames is part of the club, that's likely where Turang will remain.
It's really not so much the idea that Milwaukee waved goodbye to Wong. Though he's been very durable and an NL Central killer over the years, Wong is in the final year of his deal and was unlikely to be re-signed during the offseason.
But what did the Brewers really get in return? Jesse Winker was an All-Star in 2021, but the former Cincinnati Reds outfielder struggled mightily with his new club after being dealt prior to Opening Day last season.
After slashing .305/.394/.556 and mashing 24 homers for the Reds in 2021, Winker hit a paltry .219/.344/.344 and smacked only 14 round trippers. The 29-year-old was also said to be a bit of a malcontent in the Mariners clubhouse.
Furthermore, Winker's defense is virtually nonexistent, making him little more than a designated hitter. While plenty of good players have made a career out of DHing over the years, the Brewers have so much young talent that could benefit from the extra ABs while also providing defense at another position.
Bringing in a potential clubhouse problem, who's injury-prone, and coming off an unproductive season is a questionable move. Now, if Jesse Winker returns to his 2021 form and melds with the Milwaukee Brewers players and fans, perhaps this has potential to be a fine trade on the part of Matt Arnold.