The Cardinals have declined second baseman Kolten Wong’s $12.5MM club option for 2021 in favor of a $1MM buyout, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was among those to report.
This doesn’t necessarily close the book on Wong’s career with the Cardinals, who were reportedly interested in extending him on a multiyear contract just a couple of weeks ago. For now, though, it does make Wong a free agent and leave a hole at the keystone for St. Louis.
A member of the Cardinals organization since they chose him 22nd overall in the 2011 draft, Wong has been a generally effective part of the team dating back to his 2013 debut. While Wong has never been a major threat at the plate, his ability to combine passable offense with outstanding defense has made him an average or better contributor throughout his career. Just this past season, the 30-year-old Wong batted .265/.350/.326 with a strong 14.4 percent strikeout rate in 208 plate appearances. He also accounted for six Defensive Runs Saved and a 3.8 Ultimate Zone Rating in the field.
Now, if Wong actually explores the open market, he’ll be one of the most accomplished players available at his position. Wong would arguably be the second-best player in free agency there after DJ LeMahieu.
I hope they extend him. Otherwise this was the Wong choice.
That’s kind of a surprise. Probably getting some leverage on him to agree to a team-friendly contract.
I tried twice not to giggle at that.
Brilliant Mozeliak move!!! Brought Wong up as a wild pup getting picked off first to end a World Series. Now that he’s a 2 time golf glover, Mozeliak just says Bye-Bye!!!
If he was going to do that, why didn’t he trade Wong last season and got something for him???
Gold Glover——Not Golf Glover. Ha!
This is right move because the Cardinals need the resources to re-sign Wainwright and Yadi. Then, they could workout a new contract for Kolten Wong if it’s possible. The priority is re-signing Yadi and Wainwright.
I can’t really see Yadi and Waino hinging on this. Throwing out a productive guy like Wong to make room for them when you have so much dead money on this payroll just seems like piling poor decisions on poor decisions.
Molina will be 39 years old in July 2021. What possible reason would the Cards have for extending him more than one tear. Free up what money for a 39 yr. old defensive catcher?
Yadi will be a Yankee in 2021.
Are the Cardinals trying to free up $$$ to sign some offensive help? Heaven knows they need it. Only time will tell……stay tuned and don’t touch that dial.
More names added to the middle infielder mix. Angels need one so the more talent added to that pool the better.
Angels & NL West
Cesar Hernandez, Kike Hernandez, LaStella or Wong would look good in an Angels uniform.
Agreed and almost my order.
years ago i was trying to lobby for Cesar to LAA for Fletcher, back before his debut. alas…
Maddon hates LaStella, he aint coming back.
No, he like him a lot
Maddon does not hate LaStella
Non of them are pitchers!!
wow. i hope not just being cheap here. But it sure gives that look. Wish they would do something to protect Goldy.
How is he a better option than Schoop? Both are solid defensively, and Schoop has a stronger arm and better bat. He was also $4MM cheaper last year.
Wong isn’t just solid defensively. He’s been amazing. He’s saved so many runs for us while being the second baseman and we need the runs saved cause our offense can’t do anything lol.
I love Wong, I wish the Cubs had the payroll flexibility to sign him. He’s a phenomenal defensive player and would love to see him pair with Baez up the middle. On top of that he has a respectable on base percentage three out of the past four years, he doesn’t strike out often which is a big need for the Cubs and he can swipe some bags which is another need. Not an ideal fit for the Northside since we need a guy in the outfield who can hit lefties, at least one starter and some bullpen depth but if the Cubs were able to make it work I’d do a back flip.
Second base defense is becoming less important by the minute. Shifting has basically meant anyone with a pulse can play there. I realize Wong isn’t a bad hitter, so he has value. But to pay him for his defense at second is a bad move.
See I disagree. With shifting the point is to maximize your area where you can make a play based on stats. A second baseman now has more ground to cover and a longer throw when they are in right field because of a lefty shift. I think this makes defense even more of a premium skill for a second baseman to have. If they cant make those plays, whats the point of even shifting? Ya know?
He’s not better than schoop. That’s why they cut him. He’s not going to make anywhere near 12.5 mil
ban the shift
Wouldn’t be a bad option for the Rangers to target if they somehow miss out on Ha-Seong Kim.
I’m going to bet they extend him, but the 2021 salary is lower to help the team in the short term with Covid
I’d guess 4/$48M
21 – $6
22 – $14
23 – $14
24 – $14 (maybe as an option year)
Not sure why the Cardinals didn’t cash in on him when there was significant interest a couple of years ago.
Because they couldn’t predict COVID in 2020?
Maybe the plan is to move Matt Carpenter back to 2B with Edman at 3B.
That’s a bad plan. Unless the plan is to tank.
“Future HOFer, kinda like Skip Schumaker”
– Cardinals Fans
Gotta give that a thumbs up…too funny!
Just you wait until Skip gets in as a manager. Then we’ll see who’s laughing.
If they don’t bring him back cheaper the Cardinals are off to an early start for worst offseason.
Damn this is probably because of all the covid losses. I just can’t imagine the Cardinals would let go of Wong like this. He is a valuable contributor and the Cardinals are a playoff team.
Or just a savvy financial move. Why pay him 12.5 when schoop Hernandez Kendrick profar are all comp players who made significantly less last year. 12.5 is more than LeMahieu made last year !
This. $12.5 is way too much for Wong.
Teams with the ability (limited commitments) and WILL can remake themselves quickly this offseason. Red-hot stove season!
Go get him Os!
Brock Nd Don
Wong free?!? Come on! We have turned Metric Mo loose!
Let’s just tear down the Cardinal Nation one player at a time.
You know, some of us had to watch Dal Maxville disassemble team after team with bad trades and deals. Let’s just buy Mo some trading cards!
This guy (Mo) has traded more RedBirds into post season play with other teams than any GM!
We are gonna end up Wong, Yadi and Wano-less and have zero to show for it!
We are playing negative money ball!!!
Yep it is
Welcome to KC Mr. Wong
Not a chance. 1. I doubt they can offer much. 2. Matheny wouldn’t play him while he was in St. Louis. That would have to be a factor for Wong.
I’m just here for all the “wong” jokes
Ducky Buckin Fent
Sounds like the Wong reason, man.
Chief Two Hands
None of them are clever. Just remedial attempts at humor. Simple puns amuse simple minds.
You need to use one of those two hands and loosen yourself up
A defensive second basemen can be found in house or on the cheap. The difference between the salary and buyout is 11.5m and that’s just not the going rate for a glove first second baseman. He’s not Simmons playing short where he saves so many runs at a premium position that you can deal with below average offensive production especially on a team that struggled to score runs.
He was pretty much the equivalent of Simmons. Not quite but still a very good defender. Also he isn’t a terrible hitter. He’s gotten the thought o it of his head that he is a power hitter and now is driving the ball all over the field
Defense at 2B is nothing at all like defense at short, not in the era of shifts. There’s no comparison.
I’m going to disagree with you slightly on this only because I had the privilege to watch Baez and Russel pair up in the middle and then I’ve had to live with the disappointment of watching Bote, Descalso, Kipnis, Zobrist etc manning second base. It’s not something you truly appreciate until you had it and then lost it.
As far as Wong is concerned, he brings a lot more to the table than just defense. True enough he doesn’t slug well but he makes consistent contact, he doesn’t strike out and always has competitive at bats. I’ve watched a lot of Wong as he’s played against the Cubs and he is always a guy that gives you trouble. He’s going to work long at bats, hes going to get cheap hits and he is going to wreck your day if you have to face him with runners in scoring position.
On top of that, he is a lefty that can hit lefties. That, IMO, cannot be undervalued because it balances a line up and forces pitchers to work both sides of the plate. He is just a really solid ball player, he is the clearest cut definition of “scrappy” as you will find.
Why does Tommy La Stella get no love? He’s a free agent. .274/ .349/ .405 with a career ops+ of 104.
Wong .261/ .333/ .384 OPS+ 94.
Lastella isn’t good defensively although can play 3b and 1b if needed. Also never had an extended chance and produced until angels, so somewhat a late bloomer
As a Cardinals fan I’d be sad to see Wong go. But I fully expect that the FO will bet on Max Schrock or Edmundo Sosa taking over at 2B with Tommy Edman getting a regular starts as well. And realistically, unless the Cardinals plan on spending big this offseason (which seems extremely unlikely) it’s doubtful that losing Wong would really make any impact on how the team preforms 2021.
Losing a gold Glover and one of the best defensive second basemen will have no effect on your pitching staff? ERA can be directly translated to defensive runs saved…. What do you mean?
Meaning retaining Wong isn’t enough make the team a threat in 2021. Unless the club makes other moves to improve the offense too, losing Wong is unlikely to be the difference between a team that wins the division and team that doesn’t.
There are an infinite supply of good defensive second basemen.
I think it’s going to be to sign Wainwright and Molina. Then, I have a feeling we are going to make a trade for some offense to help Goldy!!
probably trading away another future star
Wong will probably have a 3.0-3.5 WAR next season. which is worth far more than the option price. This is a stupid move by the Cardinals.
Dude just turned 30 and gets the ax. Harsh.
stan lee the manly
This is going to be the most boring offseason of all time. Nobody has any money apparently and I would guess there’s going to be a ton of late signings. Good luck to all of the free agents.
This team is going to suck until we clean up the entire front office and coaching staff. We need to get rid of 90% of the roster and start over.
If the Red Sox sign him to go with Connor Wong they could actually prove two Wong’s dont make a right
Damn, they need someone named Wright on the team.
Had one and it went horribly wrong…
I think the Cards bring Wong back at a lower price along with Yadi and Wainwright.
And if they don’t they can find a similar 2nd baseman on the open market. Relax Cards fans!
They dont even have to venture into the open market. Schrock and Sosa are both options. Either has a better bat but neither has Wongs glove.
declined wong so they can trade for pujols, and sign molina and wainwright.
Another Mozeliak disaster… let’s extend players who cannot hit their weight, but decline an option on an above average $12.5 million player for 1 year….time for a new front office.
humphrey x boegarts
I guess the price was wong
price was right
wong was wrong
Hmmm gets even better from Dewitt and company, wonder if they are wanting to trade Carlson for a pitching prospect or a outfielder a few years off as well for this “perfect wave” they are building. I hope for the cardinals sake they figure these games they’ve been playing
Hmmm gets even better from Dewitt and company, wonder if they are wanting to trade Carlson for a pitching prospect or a outfielder a few years off as well for this “perfect wave” they are building. I hope for the cardinals sake they figure these games they’ve been playing. Truth is gambling on pinching pennies cause 2 billion isn’t enough for you worked out so well with Ozuna last year.
Hmmm gets even better from Dewitt and company, wonder if they are wanting to trade Carlson for a pitching prospect or a outfielder a few years off as well for this “perfect wave” they are building. I hope for the cardinals sake they figure these games they’ve been playing. Truth is gambling on pinching pennies cause 2 billion isn’t enough for you worked out so well with Ozuna last year. I’m no executive, but even I knew trading a prospect when you’ve got no idea was bad cause man Randy has talent, and if I’m no executive then who ever judged his potential is a fool. All of the former Cardinals talent they traded due to underperformance, or being blocked by an over paid veteran have thrived since leaving this club. I hate to say it, but it looks a lot like the Boston curse right now. He was breaking records from the 1920’s and 1930’s. That shoe seems to fit this leaderships foot
Probably a smart decision. I don’t think he’s worth that much. He’s so inconsistent year over year at the plate it’s hard to tell if the value you’re paying for is the value you’re gonna get. From the eyeball test, I’ve always thought he’s good but overhyped. But he can throw up decent #’s every other year. Calling it now… looks like someone who lands on the A’s regardless of need (assuming he doesn’t stay in at Louis)
George Springer? I bet Goldie would like that.
If the reds can sign a 3b and move him to 2b, then they can sign a 2b and move him to SS. Here’s to an infield of Suarez, Wong, Moustakas, Votto.