A few months ago the Cardinals announced their controversial decision to decline Kolten Wong’s option and make their long-time second baseman a free agent. Since then, after some initial disappointment and frustration, there has been hopes that the parties will renegotiate a contract and reunite for 2021. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network:
The #STLCards maintain interest in bringing back Kolten Wong. The decision not to pick up Wong’s $12.5M option, a seemingly East cdll in this environment, was about the price. They like him.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 30, 2020
Though the initial sting of having his option declined caught him off-guard, Kolten Wong has expressed interest in return to the Cardinals. Per Jim Hayes of Fox Sports Midwest:
Just to throw some facts out there: Kolten Wong would still be interested in seeing what the Cards would offer, should they decide to circle back. He hasn’t taken anything off the table.— Jim Hayes (@TheCatOnFox) December 30, 2020
For his part Wong will likely have several potential landing spots. The free agent second baseman is a two-time Gold Glover and rising defensive star with a reputation of offensive competency. Per MLB Trade Rumors:
Considering his solid all-around game, Wong could land with several teams this offseason for a lesser price (at least on an annual basis) than the Cardinals turned down. MLBTR predicted at the outset of the winter that Wong would sign for $16MM over two years. Since then, no fewer than a half-dozen teams have shown interest in Wong.
While the Cardinals have some flexibility with the versatility of Tommy Edman, the team would still need to find a third baseman should they slide Edman over, unless they feel confident with Matt Carpenter at the hot corner full-time, who has struggled in recent years. Everything considered, the smart move for the Birdos seems to be bringing back their second baseman.