The Cardinals are declining second baseman Kolten Wong’s option for $12.5 million for the 2021 season. The club made the move to reduce spending. Wong now joins a list of Cardinals who became free agents yesterday, including longtime catcher Yadier Molina, pitcher Adam Wainwright, catcher Matt Wieters and infielder Brad Miller.

Wong thanked St. Louis and its fans, as well as his teammates and coaches on Instagram. The 30-year-old hit .265 as the Cards’ leadoff man in 2020. He is also a finalist for a Gold Glove.

Wong had a $1 million buy so the club saved $11.5 million in payroll.

John Mozeliak, Cardinals President of Baseball Operations, said on a Zoom call Wednesday afternoon that he personally spoke with Wong and said the salary cut was a move made to save money following a season of decreased revenue and lack of ticket sales. Mozeliak said he and Wong agreed to keep the door open for discussions this offseason.