It's been an interesting 2023 season for the players involved in a trade last offseason between the Brewers and Seattle Mariners. One of the players involved has already had to find a new team to play for.
The Brewers executed a trade with the Mariners on December 2nd last year, sending second baseman Kolten Wong to Seattle in exchange for OF/DH Jesse Winker and INF Abraham Toro.
As much as Winker has been a disappointment for the Brewers this year and Toro has largely been in the minors, Kolten Wong has been a larger disappointment this year for Seattle. Back at the Trade Deadline, the Mariners designated Kolten Wong for assignment on the heels of his poor play.
Former Brewers infielder Kolten Wong has signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, just after the Brewers left town.
Wong hit just .165/.241/.227 with a 34 OPS+ in 67 games for Seattle, leading to his ultimate DFA. Now, two weeks later, Wong has a new team, signing a minor league pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers have taken on reclamation projects like this before and it's worked well for them. They have the ability to make the changes Wong needs without the pressure of everyday playing time because they're loaded on their roster.
It's ironic that he goes to LA just after the Brewers finish their series against them. The Dodgers had just called up former Brewers Rule 5 pick Gus Varland prior to that series and put Varland out there to close out one of the three games for a Dodgers win.
It's good to see Wong land on his feet. He was a popular player in Milwaukee the last two seasons, but the Brewers moved on from him in the final year of his contract as they looked to the future, clearing room for former 1st round pick Brice Turang. Turang's had his ups and downs this year, but his defense has been stellar and his offense has, at the very least, been better than what Wong has been putting up this year.
Still, the trade doesn't seem to equate to a win for the Brewers. Jesse Winker has been just as disappointing, hitting .199 with a 60 OPS+ and just one homer. He was trending toward a DFA himself until a bout of back spasms landed him on the Injured List, buying him and the Brewers some time to figure things out. Winker's out on a rehab assignment now and may be there for some time until he gets into a good groove at the plate. If he doesn't figure it out on rehab, perhaps he could get the pink slip as well.
Hopefully Wong is able to get another chance in the big leagues and can find his groove at the plate again soon, at least now that the Brewers are done facing the Dodgers.