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The Milwaukee Brewers made a splash in free agency with the signing of Kolten Wong.
With the Chicago Cubs looking to reduce payroll, the Pittsburgh Pirates rebuilding and the Cincinnati Reds somewhere in between, the NL Central is there for the taking. The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired Nolan Arenado, and according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Milwaukee Brewers have agreed to a deal with free agent second baseman Kolten Wong.
Wong has spent his entire career with the Cardinals, but they quickly decided not to pick up his $12.5 million option for 2021. Circling back for a reunion seemed possible, but not necessarily likely, as other teams had rumored interest.
Wong had a .265/.350/.326 slash-line with 16 RBI last season and also won his second straight Gold Glove. In 2019, he hit .285 with 11 home runs, 59 RBI and 24 stolen bases.
How will Kolten Wong fit with the Brewers?
The Brewers have been a late entrant in the mix to possibly sign Justin Turner, so they have been eyeing infield upgrades. Turner seemed like a more seamless fit than Wong though, if he’d even entertain an offer from Milwaukee, with Luis Arias currently lined up to start at third base.
Keston Hiura previously looked like the one guy absolutely locked into an infield spot right now for the Brewers, and he’s a second baseman by trade. After a fairly rough 2020 at the plate (.212, 85 strikeouts, .707 OPS, but with 13 home runs), they’ll be hoping for something more along the lines of 2019 (.303, .938 OPS, 19 home runs over 348 plate appearances) this year.
Hiura has not shown himself to be a particularly good defensive player, but he’s in the lineup for his bat anyway. So the Brewers will easily just shift him to one of the corner infield spots, most likely first base, to make room for Wong.