For Jim Edmonds though, it looks like his five year countdown to gracing a ballot won't start for another year. Edmonds recently inked a minor league deal with the Cardinals that included an invitation to Spring Training...
Where Edmonds fits into the Cardinals' roster is unclear.The 40-year-old missed all of the 2009 season and spent time with the Brewers and Reds in 2010. In 272 plate appearances, Edmonds hit 11 home runs and a .276/.342/.504 line. His 2.8 WAR was over a win more than Jay and Craig combined. I always liked Edmonds and was sad to see him leave Anaheim. But Adam Kennedy was a beast in that 2002 run to the championship.
The team Will Carry several bench/outfielders into spring training, including Allen Craig and Jon Jay. Craig, a righthanded hitter, will also get playing time at third base. Jay, a lefthanded batter, can play all three outfield positions. Jay not only is the incumbent for the role that Edmonds could ostensibly take, Jay also has Edmonds' signature No. 15.
It's never too early, right? If Edmonds were to retire today, would his resume pass the Hall of Fame eyeball test?
393 HR, .284 AVG, .376 OBP, .537 SLG, .383 wOBA, 68.1 WAR
He has a case. But if Tim Raines can't get in, I wouldn't start writing a speech just yet. Baseball-Reference lists Ellis Burks, Duke Snider and Andruw Jones as Edmonds' closest comps. And of course, here is their cumulative WAR Grid by age.
Snider is in the Hall. Burks debuted and fell off of the ballot in 2010. Edmonds and Jones will have some pretty interesting cases. Jones was really, really good before mysteriously and completely falling apart. I did see him a little too often at the Pink Pony in Atlanta now that I think about it.
I'd have to think long and hard about giving Edmonds my imaginary vote but right now I'm leaning Hall of Famer. Plus, who knows what metrics we'll be using in five or six years or if we'll be enslaved by robots by then.