It appears Jim Edmonds will have a shot to hit his 400th HR and get his 2000th base hit in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform. The Cardinals signed Edmonds to a minor league contract today, with an invite to spring training. The only player that seems to lose out here is either Allen Craig or Jon Jay. I actually think this is a good move for the Cardinals, as it does a couple of things. One, Colby Rasmus will probably has Edmonds around for most of the year in his ear, and one of Edmonds great strengths was getting a good jump and read on a fly ball. Number 2, it gives the Cardinals a left handed power threat off of the bench.
This move is coming shortly after Edmonds recently talked about retirement. I think if Edmonds can get to 400 and 2000, it will cement him in Cooperstown. With the way the writers are starting to wise up to defensive stats and overall measurements such as Wins Above Replacement (WAR), it’s clear that Edmonds is one of the top 10 overall centerfielders of all-time. I can see scenarios in which either Craig or Jay are sent to Memphis, with a lot of it depending on how serious Tony LaRussa is about Tyler Greene receiving AB’s in CF, and whether the need is greater for a defensive replacement in RF for Jay or a RH power bat off the bench in Craig. A lot of it will probably depend on how well Craig does at taking ground balls at 3B as well. Edmonds still has some pop left, hitting 11 HR’s last year between Milwaukee and Cincinnati in 246 AB’s.
As many of you know by now, Edmonds is my favorite all-time Cardinal. I like this move, and I don’t think it’s in any way a negative for the Cardinals. If Edmonds is in shape and can still provide power, his help is much needed. How many games Edmonds puts the Cards over the top in 2011 is something I hope we get a chance to see, and I hope to be there to celebrate the day he hits his 400th HR.