The MLB Hot Stove appears to be simmering ahead of the upcoming Winter Meetings.
The Mariners and Brewers were reportedly in agreement on a trade that will send second baseman Kolten Wong to Seattle and bring outfielder/DH Jesse Winker and utility infielder Abraham Toro to Milwaukee, according to multiple reports.
Wong, who turned 32 in October, hit .251/.339/.430 with 15 homers, 65 runs, 47 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 497 plate appearances for the Brew Crew in 2022. Generally regarded as a tick above average with both the bat and the glove, Wong tallied 2.5 fWAR last season. The former Cardinals first-round draft pick spent the first eight seasons of his big league career with St. Louis.
In return, the Mariners unload the 29-year-old slugger Winker, who struggled in his lone season in Seattle, and Toro, who was acquired from the Astros in a midseason trade in 2021. Winker, previously with the Cincinnati Reds, hit .219/.344/.344 with 14 home runs in 547 PAs last season. However, his career numbers are far better -- .270/.374/.463 -- so clearly the Brewers are banking on a rebound.
The Brewers were also sending the Mariners about $1.75 million in cash as part of the deal, per ESPN's Jeff Passan, effectively making the swap cash-neutral.
The deal marks arguably the biggest trade to date of the MLB offseason, which has been relatively slow so far. Other swaps included the Pirates' acquisition of first baseman Ji-Man Choi from the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Braves sending right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Kolby Allard.
But, the Brewers-Mariners deal and the Rays' signing of former Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin on Thursday night might herald something of a thaw, with the league's annual Winter Meetings -- which typically sees a flurry of activity -- set to kick off on Sunday in San Diego.
The Mariners were widely thought to be in the market for a second baseman, with previous reports indicating they had expressed interest in Gleyber Torres of the Yankees.