ST. LOUIS, Mo- The 2020 St. Louis Cardinals made 151 transactions in the season abbreviated by the coronavirus pandemic. Less than twelve hours after the World Series ended, the team made the first transaction for 2021, announcing that the team has declined Kolten Wong’s $12.5 million option, making the second baseman a free agent.
In a Wednesday afternoon zoom news conference with reporters, Cardinal President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said he told Wong of the decision earlier in the day. The decision does not definitively close the door on Wong’s tenure, Mozeliak said, but that the team got immediate flexibility at a time of financial uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.
“Right now we don’t know what our revenues are going to look like next year, we don’t understand what attendance will look like next year and candidly we don’t know what the rules might be for next year,” Mozeliak said.
Wong took to Instagram to thank the organization and fans, saying in part, “Thank you guys so much for welcoming me into this prestigious organization where I got to play in front of the best fans in baseball! STL will always have a special place in my heart and I will never forget all the amazing people who impacted me along the way!”
Wong has played parts of 8 seasons in St. Louis, and won a Gold Glove in 2019. Tommy Edman would likely lead in-house candidates to take over in the event Wong and the team cannot reach an agreement on a new deal.