At the time, the trade was seen as a major mistake on the part of the Cincinnati Reds. I mean, who in the world trades away two former All-Stars just months after posting back-to-back winning seasons?
Well, that's exactly what Cincinnati did after the 2022 lockout. When business resumed, Reds GM Nick Krall began to tear it all down. Sonny Gray was traded to the Minnesota Twins and Amir Garrett was shipped off to the Kansas City Royals.
But the one that absolutely broke the hearts of Reds Country was the trade that saw Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez sent to the Seattle Mariners for Jake Fraley, Justin Dunn, and two pitching prospects.
The Reds traded Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to the Mariners in 2022.
But, as is oftentimes the case, hindsight is 20/20. While painful at the time to part ways with both Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez, it would appear as though Nick Krall knew exactly what he was doing.
Seen as a salary-dump at the time (which it was), trading away Winker and Suarez also helped to restock the farm system. While Justin Dunn has missed all but seven games throughout his Reds career, the other three players that Seattle sent to Cincinnati have worked out quite well.
Fraley is a fine platoon outfielder who has feasted against right-handed pitching all season. While both Brandon Williamson and Connor Phillips look to be potential fits for the Cincinnati Reds rotation over the next several seasons.
Suarez has had his fair share of success with Seattle. The former All-Star is a leader in the clubhouse and still brings plenty of power to a loaded Mariners lineup. However, 2023 will likely be the second year in a row that Geno leads the league in strikeouts.
Jesse Winker's latest setback proves the Reds were right to move on.
But what ever happened to Jesse Winker? Unfortunately, after his breakout season in 2021, Winker has fallen on hard times. The outfielder fell out of favor with the managment in Seattle and was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers this past winter.
While last season with the M's was one that Winker would just as soon forget, his 2023 campaign in the Cream City has been even worse. Winker has played in just 61 games this season with the Brew Crew and has endured two extended stints on the IL.
Winker was out from the end of May to mid-June with a cervical strain, and then returned to the IL once again a little over a month later. Since July 26th, Winker has been out of commission with a back strain.
The latest update from Curt Hogg of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel suggests that Winker may be out even longer than expected after suffering a setback in rehab assignment at Triple-A Nashville.
Jesse Winker will be a free agent during the upcoming offseason, but a collective-OPS of .656 over the past two seasons is not going to earn the Buffalo native any sort of longterm contract.
Health has always been a concern for Winker. Much like current Reds infielder Nick Senzel, Winker has always struggled to stay on the field. Last season in Seattle saw Winker log the most games played (136) of his entire major league career.
But every season prior to 2022 saw Jesse Winker miss at least ab out one-third of the season. While it wasn't considered a good trade at the time, seeing how things have unfolded, the Cincinnati Reds were right to move on from Jesse Winker.