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January 19, 2010

So Tony La Russa has toyed with the notion of giving Mark McGwire a big league at-bat or two, and now Jim Edmonds is making an appeal to come back at the league minimum? Your 2010 St. Louis Cardinals. It’s like a Spice Girls reunion tour, only with more drama. This quote in the P-D made me chuckle.

Mozeliak learned of Edmonds’ comments late Sunday. He said he doesn’t want Edmonds’ presence to be a distraction, and the club doesn’t want him to detract from at-bats for younger players.

Mozeliak hired an 800-pound gorilla to be his hitting coach, and he’s worried about Edmonds’ presence being a distraction?

I was actually somewhat semi-surprised no one wanted Edmonds after the 2009 season. Edmonds overcame a terrible start with the Padres to post a .394 wOBA in 298 plate appearances while looking terribly awkward in Cub blue.  Small samples and having sat out an entire season aside, could Jimmy still have a splash or a drip left in the tank?

His Marcel projects a 40-year old Edmonds could post a .328 wOBA. That’s below league average, but shockingly not bad for a guy who has been out of baseball for a year now. 1, 2, 3, 4 time to look at Edmonds’ WAR! Grain of salt required.


Batting Wins Above Average (.328 wOBA, league wOBA .334): -.3 wins
Defensive Wins Above Average: -.7 wins
CF Positional Adjustment: +.25 wins
Replacement Level: +2 wins
= 1.3 wins * .5 (or about 300 PA’s for PT) = +.7 WAR

Three-quarters of a win for a 4th outfielder isn’t too shabby, and the Cardinals probably could use the good PR right about now. Mo’s other concern, that is taking away at-bats from major league ready prospects like Allen Craig and Jon Jay, is valid. Craig and Jay provide at least equal if not better value now, and both merit serious discussion for a 25-man roster spot. They also come for the same price.

The idea is sort of neat, along the lines of the Mariners having Ken Griffey Jr. still around, and I’m a huge Edmonds’ honk, but I think I might rather see Edmonds’ not reset his Hall of Fame clock. On the other hand, I don’t see the harm in inviting him to spring training for a look-see.

Oh, Rally also cranked out a CHONE projection for JEd, and has him about half a win below replacement level over 150 games. (He also projects McGwire to be -50 runs over 625 games!)


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