St. Louis Cardinals decline 2021 option for Hawaii’s Kolten Wong making him a free agent

St. Louis Cardinals decline 2021 option for Hawaii’s Kolten Wong making him a free agent
St. Louis Cardinals' Kolten Wong scores on a single by Jose Martinez during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) (Source: Mark J. Terrill)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Former University of Hawaii second baseman Kolten Wong’s team option for the 2021 season was declined on Wednesday, the Cardinals announced — making Wong a free agent.

The Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozelik confirmed on Wednesday that the team would not exercise the Hilo native’s $12.5 million option for next season, allowing the 30-year-old to test free agency.

Wong took over the lead off hitter role for the Cards in shortened 60-game 2020 season, hitting .265 with a .350 on-base percentage and a .675 OPS — over the past four years defining himself  as a player with the on-base percentage of a table-setter and one of the best gloves at his position in the majors.

The former 'Bow only strengthened that claim after winning his first Gold Glove last season and becoming the strong favorite to win it in 2020 after being announced as a finalist last week.

The former Rainbow Warrior All-American received a $1 million buyout, while leaving the door open for Wong to return to St. Louis next season as the latter explores free agency.

However, Wong will likely have some options on where he will play next season, even taking to social media to thank the fans of St. Louis for his tenure with the Birds.

The Kamehameha-Hawaii graduate made his first appearance for St. Louis in 2013, after getting drafted 22nd-overall in the 2011 MLB Draft.

MLB free agency opens on November 1st.

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