Reds' reunion with Jesse Winker seems unlikely and unnecessary

Seattle Mariners left fielder Jesse Winker.
Seattle Mariners left fielder Jesse Winker. / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

It appears as though the Seattle Mariners and Jesse Winker may be headed towards a separation. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times dropped some not-so-pleasant information about the former Cincinnati Reds outfielder during the Brock and Salk Podcast this past week.

Among other things, Divish questioned Winker's commitment to the team and his work ethic. Divish described Winker's "tired act" and surmised that he and the Seattle brass would need to have a "hard conversation" this offseason or the two sides may just decide to part ways.

The Mariners traded for Winker, along with Eugenio Suarez, prior to the start of the 2022 season. Geno had a bounce-back season in the Emerald City while Winker fell well short of expectations.

A Reds reunion with Jesse Winker seems unlikely and unnecessary.

It's bound to come up in conversation; might the Cincinnati Reds be interested in a reunion with former outfielder Jesse Winker? The short answer is no, but let's dig just a little bit deeper.

First, Winker is not an outfielder. He proved that in Cincinnati and he played even worse defense in Seattle. Winker, in today's game, is little more than a designated hitter. David Bell has already shown that his desire is not to have one player exclusively occupying the DH spot, but rather the Reds' manager prefers to rotate several players through.

Winker also had a horrible season in 2022. The former Reds slugger still reached base at a .344 clip, but Winker's batting average dropped to a paltry .219. Winker's "replacement", Jake Fraley, bested the Buffalo native in every meaningful category and fell just two home runs short of Winker's 14 round trippers despite having less than half the number of at-bats.

Finally, if Winker's attitude and personality really did clash with a Mariners team that invested in winning, made it to the postseason for the first time since 2001, and is loaded with young talent, would a GM really want to bring that type of player into his clubhouse?

The Reds faithful have fond memories of Jesse Winker's time in Cincinnati, but after the way he and the team parted company, it's doubtful that the former All-Star would entertain another season in the Queen City. Winker is still under contract with the Mariners through next season, so he'd either have to be traded or released in order to play elsewhere in 2023.

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