The Mariners and outfielder Jesse Winker have avoided arbitration, coming to terms on a two-year deal that will take Winker through his last two seasons of arbitration eligibility before free agency, per the team. The Mariners have no more remaining arbitration cases.
Winker’s deal is worth $14.5MM, per Robert Murray of FanSided (via Twitter). The deal does not change Winker’s trajectory for free agency. He will make $6.25MM this year and $8.25MM next year before hitting the open market following the 2023 season, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). The deal also includes $400K in potential bonuses next season.
For the Mariners, this timeline makes a fair amount of sense as they wait for their host of young outfielders to establish themselves as big league regulars. Kyle Lewis, Jarred Kelenic, and Julio Rodriguez may own the grass in Seattle’s future, but they’ll need to play Winker off the field in the short term.
Unfortunately, the 28-year-old Winker has yet to find his stroke this season, despite leading the American League in walks. He currently boasts a .214/.326/.308 line through 264 plate appearances while mostly holding court in left field.
Winker was an All-Star for the first time last season, starting the game in left field after a monster first half. Injuries limited him to 110 games, but he still finished the year with a robust .305/.394/.556 line. Despite Winker’s stellar campaign (or maybe because of it), the Reds shipped Winker with Eugenio Suarez to the Mariners for Jake Fraley, Justin Dunn, Brandon Williamson, and a player to be named later that became Connor Phillips.