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Cardinals decline option for keystone infielder Wong, allowing him to join Molina, Wainwright as free agents

ARLINGTON, TEXAS — It what can be read as the first hint of reduced spending and the unknowns of the 2021 baseball season, the Cardinals have elected to decline the option for second baseman Kolten Wong, a Gold Glove Award-winner and a keystone presence of the team for the previous seven seasons.

The Cardinals confirmed the decision Wednesday, the deadline for exercising a $12.5-million option.

There is a $1-million buyout.

Wong immediately becomes a free agent.

"We have both agreed to keep the door open," John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations, said of a reunion with Wong as the market moves.