ST. LOUIS — We may very well have seen Kolten Wong play his last game as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
On Wednesday, the Cardinals declined Wong's $12.5 million option for 2021, making him a free agent for the first time in his career. The native Hawaiian has been a Cardinal since he was drafted by the club in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft.
Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak made the announcement via Zoom, but said the door is not totally closed for the two parties to figure out a new contract.
However, Wong did take to Instagram Wednesday night to pen what reads as a goodbye letter to Cardinal nation.
"St Louis... I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for an amazing 7 years! To my teammates and coaches I love you guys! You guys not only grinded with me on and off the field but you also turned this kid from the little town of Hilo to the proud man I am today," Wong said in an Instagram post. "To the fans, Thank you guys so much for welcoming me into this prestigious organization where I got to play in front of the best fans in baseball! STL will always have a special place in my heart and I will never forget all the amazing people who impacted me along the way! Much love #16"
Mozeliak cited financial uneasiness regarding the current state of the Cardinals, and baseball, during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as payrool flexibility as significant reasons for not picking up Wong's option.