June 24, 2024

Infielder Kolten Wong has notified Orioles beat members that he is activating his opt-out clause, giving the team 48 hours to make a decision regarding his roster status. Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com was among those who reported this development. Wong is one of 31 veterans with minor league deals containing automatic opt-outs on various dates, including today.

Wong, aged 33, has been a reliable second baseman in the MLB, but he is coming off a challenging season. He struggled with a .165/.241/.227 batting line for the Mariners and was released in August. However, he found success with the Dodgers towards the end of the season, batting .300/.353/.500 in a limited sample of 34 plate appearances. Despite this improvement, his overall numbers for the year remained poor at .183/.256/.263, considering his time with both teams.

The Orioles took a low-risk chance on Wong with a minor league deal, hoping for a rebound to his previous performance levels. From 2014 to 2022, he maintained a batting line of .263/.336/.401 with a wRC+ of 102. Additionally, he has accumulated 52 Defensive Runs Saved throughout his career, although Outs Above Average ratings have suggested his defensive contributions are closer to average.

In spring training, Kolten Wong has posted a batting line of .185/.290/.296, which is not particularly impressive. However, he might still be able to secure a bench role with the team. Infielders Jackson Holliday and Coby Mayo were reassigned today, indicating that they will start the season in the minor leagues to get regular playing time. This decision will likely lead to Ramón Urías assuming a regular infield role alongside Gunnar Henderson and Jordan Westburg.

Jorge Mateo is expected to be on the bench, but considering his recent outings in the outfield, the club may want additional infield coverage. Infielders Tyler Nevin and Nick Maton are both on the 40-man roster and have no remaining options. Maton has had a tough spring, but Nevin has been performing well with a batting line of .346/.382/.500.

If Wong doesn’t secure a spot with the Orioles or another team, he doesn’t seem inclined to sign another minor league deal. “I’ve already spent 10 years in the majors,” Wong remarked, as reported by Jake Rill of MLB.com. “I don’t plan on returning to the minor leagues after this. Whatever unfolds, unfolds.”

Two-time Gold Glove winner triggers opt-out with Orioles

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