Wow. I’m a bit gobsmacked here, and I had even tried to prepare myself not to be.
The St. Louis Cardinals had an $11.5 million decision ($12.5 million option, $1 million buyout) to make on their Gold Glove, solid-offensive, 30-year-old second baseman, and they’re declining it:
The #STLCards declined Kolten Wong's $12.5 million option, costing them $1 million and making him a free agent.
— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) October 28, 2020
Even having braced myself for cost-cutting moves all over baseball this offseason in response to the pandemic, I’m shocked.
Wong is an elite defender and a great baserunner, and a near three-WAR player even when he’s merely hitting at a league-average level:
If Wong is not worth $11.5 million in this market – to the Cardinals or in trade – then there’s an absolute disaster on the horizon. Even Anthony Rizzo’s $14.5 million decision ($16.5 million option, $2 million buyout) is not a sure thing. And that’s a freaking nightmare.
In the meantime, get ready for a whole lot of quality players like Wong to hit the free agent market, further reducing the chance the Cubs could actually trade any of their short-term guys for value. I’m reeling a bit, folks.
Also, if you have any money at all to spend this offseason, you could really clean up. I won’t even say the thing about the Cubs having an opening at second base, because whatever …