Kolten Wong would have been eligible for arbitration following the 2016 campaign. Instead, he’ll be sticking around for St. Louis quite a bit longer. The Cardinals agreed to terms on a contract extension with their 25-year-old second baseman on Wednesday.
First reported by Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the deal guarantees Wong $25.5 million. The first season of his new deal will be this one coming up and runs through 2020. The Hawaiian also could receive a 2021 club option courtesy of the Redbirds. Goold writes the Cards will control his contract one year beyond Wong was expected to hit the free agent market, and that the option is worth $12.5 million. This means that they’d also have a second year control over his free agency. Extending Wong’s contract fulfills his desire to remain with the team and be part of the St. Louis community.
Wong debuted in August 2013, two years after being drafted by the team 22nd overall. He eclipsed rookie status in 2014, and was good enough to finish in third place for the 2014 N.L. Rookie of the Year voting. In that year’s NLCS, the Cardinals lost the pennant to the San Francisco Giants for the second time in three years, four games to one. The Cardinals, however, won their lone game of the series when Wong catapulted his team to a walkoff win via a solo blast in Game 2. He would also go deep in a losing effort in Game 4.
Wong played 147 games at second last year, 40 better from the prior season. He wound up batting .262 with 11 home runs and 61 RBIs. That’s one homer less than his 2014 season, but also 19 more runs driven in. Wong can steal bases on occasion, too, with 35 over the course of the last two years. Defensively, he had 17 errors with a .977 fielding percentage. The Cardinals paced the majors with 100 wins in 2015 with Wong as their regular man at second.