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Brewers shore infield, sign ex-Cards 2B Wong

St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong (16) bats in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Denver, in this Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, file photo. Kolten Wong has joined the Milwaukee Brewers as he changes teams for the first time after spending eight seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Brewers announced Friday, Feb. .5, 2021, that they had signed Wong to a two-year contract with a club option for 2023.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Kolten Wong is leaving St. Louis behind but staying in the NL Central as the Milwaukee Brewers reshape the right side of their infield by adding a Gold Glove second baseman

Wong and the Brewers finalized their $18 million, two-year contract on Friday, a deal that includes a 2023 club option.

Milwaukee is making room for Wong in their infield by shifting Keston Hiura from second base to first.

St. Louis had declined a $12.5 million 2021 option for Wong in December, making him eligible for free agency.

“It took me a little bit to kind of get my head around the whole thing,” Wong said. “Obviously being a Cardinal for as long as I’ve been, there’s a lot of memories, there’s a lot of good things I created there. But also seeing from across (the field) how the Brewers play, how they go about their business and the type of team this is, it just fits my mold really well. It’s a grinding team, a team that just goes out there and competes every single day.”

Wong has earned Gold Glove honors each of the last two seasons. Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns called Wong “in our opinion, the best defensive second baseman in all of baseball.”

The 30-year-old owns a career .261 batting average with a .333 on-base percentage. Wong batted .265 with a .350 on-base percentage, one homer and 16 RBIs in 53 games last season.

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