Kolten Wong officially became a free agent earlier this week when the Cardinals declined their $12.5MM club option on the second baseman, and it hasn’t taken long for the former Gold Glover to draw attention. Multiple teams have already been in contact with Wong, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, with the Angels named as one of the interested parties.
With Andrelton Simmons hitting free agency, the Angels are known to be looking at middle infield help, with David Fletcher’s ability to play either second base or shortstop allowing Los Angeles to explore options at either position. (For example, Didi Gregorius is another reported target.) Looking at the list of available free agent middle infielders, second base is the deeper of the two positions, and since the 2021-22 shortstop class is loaded with stars, the Angels could prefer to let Fletcher handle shortstop for a year and then explore signing a longer-term answer.
Or, if it will take a multi-year deal to sign Wong, the Halos could be content with Wong and Fletcher as their middle infield combo for the next couple of seasons. Wong would essentially be the second base version of Simmons — a roughly league-average hitter who provides elite defense, with the bonuses of Wong being a year younger than Simmons, a better baserunner and with less of a recent injury history. Since the Halos have mostly a right-handed hitting lineup, Wong’s left-handed bat would also add a bit of balance.
The Angels are one of many teams looking for second base help this winter, so it isn’t surprising that Wong’s market is already active. The Phillies, Indians, Rockies, Yankees, Athletics, Tigers, and Cubs are just a few teams that could fit as potential suitors, plus teams like the Nationals or Blue Jays could be fits based on how other in-house options are shuffled around the infield.