The Milwaukee Brewers have traded their starting second baseman, Kolten Wong, to the Seattle Mariners. This move shakes up the Brewers lineup and depth chart. How does it look now?
In exchange for Wong, the Brewers received two big league bats in return, outfielder/DH Jesse Winker, and infielder Abraham Toro. Both are coming off down seasons in 2022, but Winker has been a highly productive bat in years prior.
Out the door is Kolten Wong, who had two strong seasons in Milwaukee and was a mainstay at second base in that time. But the Brewers turn over a new leaf in their infield.
Here is the Brewers projected starting lineup in 2023 after the Kolten Wong trade
1. LF Christian Yelich
2. SS Willy Adames
3. 1B Rowdy Tellez
4. DH Jesse Winker
5. 3B Luis Urias
6. 2B Brice Turang
7. RF Tyrone Taylor
8. C Victor Caratini
9. CF Garrett Mitchell
While Jesse Winker is a veteran outfielder and the Brewers did recently trade one of those away in Hunter Renfroe, Winker is very poor defensively. With the DH in the National League now, that is most likely the Crew's plan for Winker. He'd fit in nicely there as the Brewers really lacked a strong DH option in 2022.
Because of the loss of Renfroe, the cleanup spot in the batting order has also opened up and Winker is projected to take that spot as well. He's a left-handed hitter so he'd be back-to-back lefties with Rowdy Tellez, but left-handed power plays well at American Family Field.
Abraham Toro does not crack the starting lineup in this projection. He has struggled offensively in his career and likely will not overtake Luis Urias for the starting third base job. Other moves could change that status, however. That goes for both Toro and Urias. Third base is a spot where the Brewers need an upgrade, but Toro isn't going to be it.
Moving into the second base job is highly rated prospect Brice Turang. Turang was the Crew's first round pick in 2018 and he just put up an excellent year in Triple-A Nashville. He has already been selected to the 40 man roster and the Wong trade clears the deck for the young Turang to take over at second base.
Toro can play second base as well, but again it's unlikely that Toro would overtake Turang to claim a starting job. He just hasn't been able to hit well enough at the big league level and even with a strong spring training performance, this trade was about clearing room for Turang, not blocking him with another guy on the depth chart in Toro.
Toro can fill a utility spot behind Mike Brosseau and maybe could battle for opportunities but that's essentially his place on the depth chart while Jesse Winker moves to the top of the DH depth chart.