In early December, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Seattle Mariners swung a big trade.
The Brew Crew acquired outfielder Jesse Winker and infielder Abraham Toro from the Mariners for second baseman Kolten Wong and cash.
Winker had been one of the most pleasant surprises in the league in 2020 and 2021, with an OPS over .900 in both seasons.
He was with the Cincinnati Reds back then.
The Mariners acquired him in a trade before the 2022 campaign with big hopes.
He was supposed to provide contact, power, and on-base ability from the left side of the plate.
Instead, he struggled with injuries and, reportedly, effort and work ethic issues.
As a result, he slumped to a .219/.344/.344 line with 14 home runs in 136 games.
His vaunted OPS fell al the way to .688 last season with the M’s.
The Brewers, however, are prioritizing upside here and are banking on Winker returning to form in 2023.
Analysts and fans agree on the fact that he is actually one of the most evident bounce-back candidates for the upcoming campaign.
MLB lists Jesse Winker as one of the top 5 players to bounceback in 2023 👀 pic.twitter.com/uX82cHskJc
— Ryan (@BrewPack8) February 23, 2023
Per quality and quantity of contact plus plate discipline metrics, Winker was a star in 2020-21.
He slumped in 2022, but he is reportedly over the neck and knee issues that plagued him last season.
If he is indeed healthy and can keep himself focused, we have every reason to think Winker can return to form.
Wong is a nice player, but getting Winker and several years of Toro was a nice move by Milwaukee.
If he plays anywhere near to his 2021 level, the trade could be a very productive one for the Brewers.NEXT: Luke Voit Is Getting Another Chance To Prove Himself