JUPITER, FL. (KMOV.com) -- Prior to the team’s first live spring action, the Cardinals announced they agreed to a five-year extension for second baseman Kolten Wong.
Wong, who isn’t eligible for arbitration until November, will turn 26 at the end of this season. The deal will secure him until 2020, with a club option for an additional sixth year.
The deal gives him financial security through the end of the decade, always a plus for a young player, but Wong was clear Wednesday staying in St. Louis was the driving force behind pursuing the extension.
“I wanted to show them I wanted to be here. I didn’t want to go and try and see what I could do in free agency, I didn’t want to try and push that,” he said. ‘I wanted to be a Cardinal. If there was any chance I could do it, I said, ‘let’s try and get something done.’
Wong and his agents began the process of securing a deal about a month and a half ago, and Wednesday’s announcement is another in a long line of March contract extensions for the Cardinals.
Adam Wainwright and Allen Craig received five-year extensions during spring training in 2013, Matt Carpenter signed a six-year one the year after.
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“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.”
Wong was drafted in the first round in 2011 out of the University of Hawaii. He debuted just two years later, and in 2014 finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting. He also fits the organizational mold for personality. He and his wife Alissa have taken the K Cancer torch from now-departed players Jason Motte and Jon Jay, and Wong will be a visible face for the organization.
“My whole plan was I wanted to be part of this team. I wanted to get [engrossed] in the community,” He said. “Just be a part of St. Louis. With this deal in place I get a chance to go out there and do that.”
The financial details of the contract haven’t been released. We will have more on the story this afternoon.