Following a third straight year of being named a Gold Glove Award finalist, Hawaii’s Kolten Wong had his team option for the 2021 season declined by the St. Louis Cardinals this making him a free agent.
The move was confirmed by the team on Wednesday’s deadline for exercising as the $12.5-million option.
Wong, who recently celebrated his 30th birthday was the leadoff hitter for the Cardinals in 2020 and in the COVID-19 shortened season hit .265 with a .350 on-base percentage while also serving as a leader in most defensive metrics for second basemen in the National League.
The former University of Hawaii All-American was awarded with his first Gold Glove Award in 2019 after finishing second in 2018. He is the overwhelming favorite to win the award this year after being announced as a finalist with with Pittsburgh’s Adam Frazier and Chicago’s Nico Hoerner.
The Cardinals and Wong are expected to leave the door open for a reunion as the latter explores free agency however one would imagine that Wong will have options.
MLB Free agency begins on November 1.