The St. Louis Cardinals announced Friday that they have agreed on a two-year contract extension with centerfielder Jim Edmonds that will keep the league’s premier centerfielder in a Cardinals uniform through 2008.
Edmonds, 36, joined the Cardinals prior to the 2000 season and has been a part of six playoff teams in his seven seasons with the Redbirds, including this year’s World Championship team. The eight-time Gold Glove outfielder has batted .288 with 229 home runs and 660 RBI in 988 games with St. Louis, ranking fourth on the team’s all-time home run list.
Edmonds’ two-year deal is worth $19 million. Edmonds had a $10 million option with a $3 million buyout for 2007. The Post-Dispatch's Joe Strauss said the new deal has a significant amount of money deferred - $3 million without interest to be paid out from 2010-19 - leaving $8 million base salaries the next two seasons.
The Cardinals had only until Saturday, November 11 to decide either to exercise their $10 million option for 2007 on Edmonds or pay him that $3 million buyout. As expected, the two sides hammered out an extension instead.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to have this extension worked out with Jim,” said Cardinals’ Senior Vice President/General Manager Walt Jocketty. “Jim is one of the true leaders for our team both on and off the field, and it’s not just coincidence that he has been such a big part in creating and maintaining a winning attitude ever since his arrival in 2000. We hope that today’s announcement will serve as the first step in assuring that Jim Edmonds finishes his great career as a St. Louis Cardinal.”
Since joining the Cardinals in 2000, Edmonds has stood among the game’s top players in numerous categories, ranking in the top-five in slugging pct. (first -.572), home runs (second -229), RBI (second -660), doubles (third -219) and batting (fifth -.288) among all centerfielders during the seven-year span.
Edmonds, who won Gold Glove Awards for defensive excellence in each of his first six seasons as a Cardinal, stands fifth among all centerfielders in games played (944) and second in assists (66) since joining the club in 2000.
Chairman of the Board/General Partner, William O. DeWitt Jr. added, “Jim has been a great Cardinals and one of the best players in the game since he’s been with us, and we are pleased to have him back for the next two years.”
In his 13-plus seasons of Major League service, Edmonds has compiled a .289 lifetime batting average, 350 home runs and 1,068 RBI in 1,697 games. He’s appeared in 61 postseason games, ranking ninth on the all-time list with 13 postseason home runs, none more dramatic then his walk-off homer in Game Six of the 2004 National League Championship Series.