Well, if it's been unreported then it's my fault, and I'm not going to put something in the chat that I've forgotten to put in the paper. All of reporting goes there. It's like in before times when I would go to a dinner party or charity event and someone would pigeonhole me against a wall and say, "Well, what's the real story on (subject x)?" Well, the real story, from everything that I can report and verify, goes in the paper. I don't save it to show off in private, or to traffic in gossip that I cannot prove or put under my byline. That's not the job. And, honestly, pocketing such info isn't fair to readers who expect to get the whole story to the best of a reporter's ability, readers who pay subscriptions believing they'll get the whole story to the best of a reporter's ability.
Here's what you didn't mention: The Cardinals feel they can get as good of a player or as good of production for less cost. Period. They saw a way to shave $11.5 million from the payroll, and get similar production and greater "value" from less cost. That's the reason here. It's the money. It's what we talk a lot about -- it's the VALUE. So, Wong will be the superior defensive player and maybe go out and be a 3.0 WAR player, but if the Cardinals can get 2.5 WAR from a player at $10.5 million less, then they are getting better value, not the better player. That's the root of this decision. That's what they mean by flexibility. Lopping off the cost at a position where they think they can get less bang but for a better buck.
Yes, they see run differential as a sliding scale, and if they're going to prevent fewer they need to score more. That's a goal. Yes, I too was surprised when Wong told me that he would have renegotiated his deal with COVID-19 in mind, and that the Cardinals did not attempt to do that. Says a lot about how much they just wanted to immediately cut costs, and what they think the market for Wong and the market for players in general would be. They see value to be had, to be added.