Brewers trade Kolten Wong to Mariners for cash in exchange for Jesse Winker and Abraham Toro

Brewers’ Kolten Wong reacts after being thrown as he tries to steal second base against the Cardinals to finish third inning Wednesday night.

The Milwaukee Brewers couldn’t wait until baseball’s winter meetings to strike a deal.

On Friday, the team traded second baseman Kolten Wong to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for outfielder Jesse Winker and infielder Abraham Toro. Brewers will also send cash back to Mariners.

The Brewers exercised their $10 million team option on Wong on Nov. 8, but have since made far more than additions to their roster with two other high-profile players going on with right-fielder Hunter Renfroe and right-handed Brad Boxberger.

With on-court top contender Brice Turang just wrapping up a strong season at AAA Class Nashville, the team feels comfortable turning the page for 32-year-old Wong, handing the reins to the 23-year-old, who has yet to start in the second stage. makes his debut in the first league.

Wong has two of the best offensive seasons of his career since signing with Milwaukee prior to the 2021 campaign, hitting a career-high 15 home runs in 2022 in a three-point game against Cincinnati at the end of September.

As a result, Wong hit .262 with 29 homers and 97 RBI with .776 OPS in 250 games with the Brewers.

But the two-time Gold Glove winner was also rated as one of the worst defensive second basemen in baseball last season, making a career-high 17 mistakes, minus nine outs above average.

Milwaukee takes the 29-year-old left-handed Winker, adding an outfielder who can at least play corners, two seasons away from his only all-star salute while with the Cincinnati Reds.

Winker, who will make $8.25 million in 2023 in the second year of a two-year deal, is coming out of a bad season with the Mariners where he hit 0.219 with 14 home runs and 53 runs. It reached 688.

He missed Seattle’s postseason run in October with a neck injury.

Winker gives the Brewers another seasoned outfielder, reducing the need to rely on top candidates like Sal Frelick, Esteury Ruiz and Joey Wiemer early in the season, and is a .344 hitter with 1,032 OPS in 32 career games in Milwaukee.

Turning 26 on December 20, Toro has played a total of 262 games in the major leagues since 2019 and is a career .206 hitters with 26 homers, 99 RBIs and .621 OPS.

He can play anywhere but the centre-back, is a key hitter and is under team control until 2027 with a minimum salary.

This story will be updated later.

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This article was originally published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Brewers trade Kolten Wong, Winker cash to Mariners for Toro

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