The Mariners and outfielder jesse winker avoided arbitration, reaching a two-year deal that will take Winker to his final two seasons of arbitration eligibility before free agency, according to the team. The Mariners have no outstanding arbitration cases.
Winker’s deal is worth $14.5 million, according to FanSided’s Robert Murray (by Twitter). The deal doesn’t change Winker’s trajectory for free agency. It will earn $6.25 million this year and $8.25 million next year before hitting the open market after the 2023 season, according to New York Post’s Joel Sherman (by Twitter). The deal also includes $400,000 in potential bonuses next season.
For the Mariners, this timeline makes a lot of sense as they wait for their host of young outfielders to establish themselves as big league regulars. Kyle Lewis, Jarred Kelenicand Julio Rodriguez may own the grass in Seattle’s future, but they’ll have to play Winker off the field in the short term.
Unfortunately, the 28-year-old Winker has yet to find his footing this season, despite leading the American League in walks. He currently owns a .214/.326/.308 line through 264 plate appearances while primarily holding ground in left field.
Winker was a first-time All-Star 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 solid .305/.394/.556 line. Despite Winker’s stellar campaign (or perhaps because of it), the Reds dispatched Winker with Eugenio Suarez to sailors for Jake Fraley, Justin Dunn, Brandon Williamsonand a later named player who became Connor Phillips.