The Milwaukee Brewers didn’t have a great year, yet were still close to sneaking into the playoffs in the last two weeks of the season.
Second baseman Kolten Wong was important player for them this year, and has been in the past, too.
That’s why the Brewers are making sure he returns for the 2023 campaign, as they look to return to the playoffs.
“The Brewers have picked up Kolten Wong’s $10 million club option,” MLB insider Robert Murray tweeted.
The Brewers have picked up Kolten Wong’s $10 million club option.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) November 8, 2022
Perhaps you may think $10 million for a 32-year-old second baseman is a lot for a small-market team, but he is more than worth it.
In fact, according to FanGraphs’ value calculator, Wong’s performance returned $19.8 million in value.
It’s a worthwhile gamble by a Brewers team that is confident Wong can maintain a similar level for at least one more season.
An All-Around Good Performer At Second Base
In 2022, the former Gold Glover hit .251/.339/.430 with 15 home runs, 17 stolen bases, and a 116 wRC+ that certifies him as an above-average offensive performer.
For a second consecutive season, Wong returned 2.5 Wins Above Replacement, or WAR: he is not a star, but is a steady regular, and every lineup needs steady regulars.
It’s important to point out, however, that Wong’s defense declined considerably in 2022.
He went from having 2 Outs Above Average (OAA) in 2021 to -9 last year, which is a significant drop-off.
He also went from 6 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) two years ago to -1 this season.
He didn’t quite show Gold Glove-caliber defense in 2022, but Milwaukee hopes he can be better in 2023.
They are banking on him, and they need him at his best to make a legitimate run at the NL Central crown.