When the Milwaukee Brewers picked up Kolten Wong's club option for 2023, many were surprised given his $10MM price tag. However, that isn't going to stop the Brewers from potentially trading Wong this offseason, as rumors have started to kick up.
There were a number of reasons why it would've made sense for the Brewers to move on from Wong when it came to his club option. Even though it's been exercised, those reasons still do exist and they would also justify a potential trade of Kolten Wong, and that's where the Seattle Mariners come in.
Per Jon Morosi, the Seattle Mariners have checked in on the availability of Kolten Wong.
The Mariners just made a big trade earlier in the week for All Star Teoscar Hernandez who had one year remaining until free agency. According to Morosi, they could be looking to do something similar at second base with Wong. The free agent market isn't exactly flush with options that have as much upside as Wong does.
The latest trade rumors have Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong on the trade market and the Seattle Mariners are interested.
This is actually sounding a bit like a match made in heaven. The Mariners have something the Brewers need in spare starting pitching depth they're looking to trade from, and they're looking to improve at second base while the Brewers are looking to transition to the next generation.
The current projected starting second baseman for the Mariners is Dylan Moore, who hit just .224 last season with six home runs. Wong would be an improvement for them.
Like practically everyone on the Brewers roster, Wong is available for the right price. One year of All Star Teoscar Hernandez netted the Blue Jays a high leverage reliever and a pitching prospect from Seattle. For a two-time Gold Glove winner in Wong, the Brewers will probably be looking at something similar.
What could the Brewers expect to get in return in a Kolten Wong trade?
It's well known that the Mariners are looking to deal from their starting pitching depth this winter, specifically either Chris Flexen or Marco Gonzales. The Brewers front office has also stated that they are on the search for more pitching depth this offseason and that will likely come from external options.
Getting Chris Flexen, 28, in return would be a solid get for the Brewers in a Kolten Wong trade. They could probably get another prospect included as well, although it might be a lower level one.
In 2022, Flexen threw 137.2 IP of 3.73 ERA ball and went back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen, pitching in 33 games and starting 22 of them. He can fill that swingman role that Aaron Ashby is likely graduating from. If injuries strike the rotation again, they can rely on someone like Flexen, who has a more proven track record at the big league level instead of someone like Jason Alexander. The need is to upgrade that portion of the depth chart.
Trading Kolten Wong would probably make the most sense for the Brewers. That way they avoid paying the $2MM buyout, they get something in return for him, they can clear his full salary, and clear the path for Brice Turang to get regular playing time in 2023. If the Brewers were to get Flexen in return, he carries an $8MM salary for 2023 and then is a free agent after that.
Just because the Brewers exercised Wong's option doesn't mean he's going to stick around in Milwaukee. The rumors surrounding him are starting early and this match makes a lot of sense on paper.