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St. Louis Cardinals 2B Kolten Wong signs five-year deal

By The Sports Xchange   |   March 3, 2016 at 1:09 AM
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The St. Louis Cardinals reached agreement with second baseman Kolten Wong on a five-year contract Wednesday.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal will pay Wong $25.5 million, according to ESPN. The deal also has a $12.5 million team option for 2021 and does not include any no-trade protection.

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"My whole plan was I wanted to be part of this team. I wanted to get engulfed with the community and just be part of St. Louis," Wong said Wednesday at spring training in Jupiter, Fla. "Now, with this deal, I get to be part of the community."

The 25-year-old Wong batted .262 with 11 home runs, 61 RBIs and 15 stolen bases last season.

"Kolten provides an excellent example of our strategy to sign, develop and retain the best talent available," Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement. "Kolten has had a nice start to his career and we look forward to having him be a key part of our future."

Wong was the Cardinals' first-round draft choice in 2011 out of the University of Hawaii and made his major league debut just two years later in 2013 as a member of the National League championship team.

The left-handed hitting Wong finished third in 2014 NL Rookie of the Year voting and he was the Cardinals Organizational Player of the Year in 2013. In 295 career games, Wong has posted a .250 batting average with 23 home runs, 103 RBIs and 38 stolen bases.

"Kolten provides an excellent example of our strategy to sign, develop and retain the best talent available," Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement. "Kolten has had a nice start to his career and we look forward to having him be a key part of our future."

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said, "We are pleased to have Kolten signed for the next five years. 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."

In 2014, Wong's three postseason home runs, including a walk-off shot against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the NL Championship Series, were the most by a rookie second baseman in major league history. Wong holds the Cardinals' single-series postseason record for total bases by a second baseman (15 in 2014 NLCS) and each of his last nine postseason hits have gone for extra bases, tying two others for the MLB record.

After hitting 12 home runs in 2014 and 11 last season, Wong became the first Cardinals second baseman since Frankie Frisch (1927-28) to compile back-to-back seasons with 10 or more home runs. Wong ranked third among NL second basemen in homers last season and fourth in RBIs (61), while leading all second basemen with 312 putouts.

Wong led the Cardinals with 25 two-out RBIs last season and hit five of his 11 home runs with two outs. He also led the team in hit by pitch (15) and finished second in stolen bases (15).

"I came to my agents and said I wanted to do an extension because I have a lot of ties to St. Louis," Wong told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "After '13, they gave me a chance to come back and really reinvent myself and show it wasn't me. After that I wanted to be a Cardinal. I feel like it was something I needed to do. Now, we get to step in and be a part of a bunch of brothers out there."

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