St. Louis Cardinals Extend Kolten Wong, $25.5 Million over Five Years

The St. Louis Cardinals have announced an agreement on an extension with 25-year-old second baseman Kolten Wong. Wong will reportedly be guaranteed $25.5 million over five years, beginning in 2016. Wong gets $1.25 million this year, $2.5 million in 2017, $4 million in 2018, $6.5 million in 2019 and $10.25 million in 2020. St. Louis has a $12.5 million option for 2021 with a $1 million buyout.

”Kolten has already been a key part of several high-profile moments during his young career, and we look forward to his continued growth and success as a member of this organization,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said in a statement.

Wong, 25, is coming off a 2015 season in which he batted .262/.321/.386 (92 OPS+) with 11 home runs and 15 stolen bases in 150 games. He stole 20 bases in 2014, when he hit .249 with 12 homers and 42 RBIs, finishing fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting.

”Now that I kind of have some kind of security, I understand that I can go out there and do different things and not worry about basically trying to play a good game every single game of spring training,” Wong said. ”I can go in there and focus on certain parts of my game that I really want to work on and really hone in on those things.”

The Cardinals have been down this road before with other players and extensions.

Adam Wainwright and Allen Craig received five-year extensions during spring training in 2013, Matt Carpenter signed a six-year one the year after.

“We’ve always looked to retain our best talent,” GM John Mozeliak said. “We always take a lot of pride in trying to sign the players we develop and that come up through our system. Kolten’s a perfect example of what the St. Louis Cardinals are all about.”