Jesse Winker was traded to the Seattle Mariners on Monday. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Cincinnati Reds fanbase, but the change in scenery seems to have opened the eyes of the former first-round pick to the way things work in the front office.
During a press event on Tuesday, Winker took a shot at his former club suggesting that the Reds are not trying to win. To be perfectly honest, it's difficult to debate Winker's stance. Given that Cincinnati has traded away Winker, Eugenio Suárez, and Sonny Gray over the past few days, it's hard to argue that the Reds are a better team heading into 2022 than they were last season.
Jesse Winker throws shade at the Reds during a press conference.
During the press conference, Jesse Winker didn't reference the Cincinnati Reds by name, but the newly cemented Seattle Mariners outfielder did praise his current organization for prioritizing winning.
Winker had been part of the Reds since being drafted in the first-round back in 2012. The outfielder made a steady climb through the farm system and debuted for Cincinnati in 2017. Since the 2019 season, Winker was a regular in the Reds lineup and went to his first All-Star Game in 2021.
Last season, along with fellow outfielder Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker tore up the National League and helped the Cincinnati Reds in their chase for a spot in the playoffs. Ultimately, Winker suffered an intercostal injury down the stretch and missed the last month or so of the season. The Reds finished 83-79 and missed the postseason.
Now with the Seattle Mariners, Winker has a chance to realize his dream of competing for a championship. By adding Da Wink and Suárez, the M's added some serious pop to the lineup. After finishing 90-72 last season, Mariners fans have to feel good about where their team is heading into the 2022 season.
"I've always wanted to be part of an organization and a team that is really going after winning, is really going after chasing division titles, and making a run for a ring, and that's what we have here in Seattle, and I'm excited about it."- Jesse Winker, Mariners outfielder
It won't be an easy road for Seattle, as they have the defending American League champion Houston Astros and the much improved Texas Rangers to deal with. There's also the matter of the Los Angeles Angels who have, arguably, the two best players in the sport in Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout.
While Reds Country is bemoaning the trade as the start of another rebuild, the Reds brass refuses to use the word. Recent reports suggest Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle will not be traded and Cincinnati plans to look at free agents with an eye toward improving the club heading into the 2022 season.
No matter which way you slice it, you have to feel good for the duo of Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez. The two former Reds will get a chance to compete for a division crown in the Emerald City and hopefully chase down a World Series ring. As starved for a winner as Reds fans are, the folks in Seattle might be even more desperate. The Mariners haven't been to the playoffs in 20 years.