Friday, November 10, 2006

Jimmy's Staying!

As reported today by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jim Edmonds signed a contract extension through 2008. Terms were not fully disclosed, but it appears he will make somewhat less than $10M per year. Much of the money is deferred, which makes sense given the Cardinals' priority to sign starting pitching for next season.

I think this is a good signing. Yes, I'm aware of Edmonds' declining offensive numbers; he is not the hitter he was 2 years ago. Not even close. But I have felt for a while that at some point, organizations have to show a little loyalty to their employees, folks who have given a lot to the company brand either through excellent salesmanship, sustained superior performance, or that intangible 'leadership' quality. I am not naive enough to think that Edmonds' rah-rah shtick during the playoffs now anoints him as the leader of this team. What worked for a 16-game playoff run probably won't fly during a 162 game season. But Edmonds is a core guy; he's the longest tenured Cardinal on the club, having bled Cardinal Red since 2000; he is (at times) a spectacular center fielder; and although diminished, he still is a dangerous left handed bat. It sends an important message to the current and pending free agents on the team: we will take care of you if you play well for us (Weaver? Suppan? Carpenter?).

It also makes my OF free agent analysis much easier, and the odds of my wife wringing my neck because I spend too much time on the computer much longer. So thanks Walt.

Because terms of his contract were not fully disclosed, I'm going to do some guestimating on it. My assumptions: this is a 2 year deal for $17M. I interpret 'Significant' money deferred to mean $6M this season and $11M next, because that keeps room freed up for starting pitching this season. To update our salary tracker:

Starting point (AP, Rolen, Izzy, Carp, Encarn, Eck, Rincon, Loop, Yadi, Miles): $62.45M.
Add Edmonds @ $6M.

Running Total: $68.45M (11 players).

LF preview/teaser: The list of LF free agent help currently looks like this: Ba. Bonds, F. Catalanotto, J. Cruz Jr, D. Dellucci, C. Floyd, Luis Gonzalez, R. Ledee, Carlos Lee, T. Long, E. Marrero, J. Payton, D. Roberts, A. Soriano, S. Stewart, P. Wilson. R. Klesko, J.D. Drew, J. Valentin, E. Young. More analysis is forthcoming.

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