Monday, March 27

Mariners-Reds trade: Seattle acquires Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suárez for prospect package

The Seattle Mariners struck a deal with the Cincinnati Reds that will see them obtain All-Star outfielder Jesse Winker and third baseman Eugenio Suárez. The Reds will receive a prospect package in return that features four players. The teams announced the deal Monday afternoon.

Here are the details of the deal:

Mariners receive

  • OF Jesse Winker
  • 3B Eugenio Suarez

Networks receive

  • RHP Justin Dunn
  • LHP Brandon Williamson
  • OF Jake Fraley
  • Player to be named later or cash

Winker, 28 years old, made his first All-Star Game last season. He has batted .305/.394/.556 (140 OPS+) with a career-high 24 home runs. Dating back to the 2020 season, he’s now posted a 140 OPS+ and launched 36 home runs in his last 668 plate appearances. Those contributions have been worth an estimated four Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball-Reference’s calculations.

Winker should slot into Seattle’s lineup as its most-days left fielder for the next two seasons. The one blemish on his record last season was that he remained unplayable against left-handed pitching. For his career, Winker has a .600 OPS against southpaws OPS versus righties. The Mariners will have to platoon him with a right-handed hitter, with the internal favorites being either Dylan Moore or Taylor Trammell.

Suarez, 30, is coming off a horrendous campaign. He hit just .198/.286/.428 (80 OPS+) despite homering 31 times. Suárez had been an average or better hitter in the preceding four seasons, and the Mariners are likely banking on a bounce-back effort based on how his exit velocity and peripherals were largely unchanged year-to-year. Suarez’s contract runs through the 2024 season and will see him collect more than $35 million.

Winker and Suárez join the likes of Wade Miley, Tucker Barnhart, and Sonny Gray as Reds who have parted the team this winter as Cincinnati slices payroll.

Dunn, 26, made 25 appearances for the Mariners over the last three seasons. He amassed a 3.94 ERA (108 ERA+) and a 1.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He’s struggled enough with his command of him and with left-handed hitters that he could be moved to the bullpen at some point. Dunn’s arsenal of him, heavy on 94-mph fastballs and curveballs, could even play up in relief, potentially giving him a future in a high-leverage role.

Fraley, 26, hit .201/.352/.369 (104 OPS+) with nine home runs and 10 stolen bases in 265 plate appearances. He’s a left-handed hitter who, like Winker, has shown a sizable platoon split, albeit in just over 300 plate appearances. Fraley could be viewed as Winker’s spiritual successor in the Cincinnati outfield.

Williamson, 24 come April, was Seattle’s second-round pick in 2019. He’s a tall left-hander who split last season between High- and Double-A. Overall, I have posted a 3.39 ERA and a 4.64 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Williamson can reach into the upper-90s with his fastball and he complements it with a good breaking ball. He projects as a potential mid-rotation starter, and he should reach the majors this season.

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