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the edmonds trade

jim edmonds stands 10th on the all-time franchise leaderboard in on-base percentage (.393), 7th in slugging (.555), 6th in ops (.948), 4th in homers (241), and 7th in walks (645).

the trade is bitter medicine, but it's necessary. the cards should have let edmonds walk last year, or simply picked up his one-year option; the extension was a mistake, and they're acknowledging as much. they're getting on with the overdue business of letting go of the past. since taking the reins mozeliak has jettisoned five position players from the 2006 championship team --- all of them over age 30 --- and created opportunities for younger players who might or might not pan out. it's not pretty, it's not exciting, it's not fun. but it's the right direction.

here's a breakdown of the cards' centerfielders last season:

edmonds 352 88 14 2 12 49 .250 .324 .403
others 285 85 16 1 7 36 .298 .338 .435

the cards paid edmonds a lot of money last year to play worse than his understudies; smart organizations don't do things like that. as a group, st louis centerfielders posted a .747 ops in 2007; the holdovers are capable of matching or exceeding that production. the team hasn't lost anything in terms of present value; the money they would have paid edmonds can now be put toward upgrading somewhere else.

i'm too old to be terribly sentimental about these things; edmonds was a noteworthy player, and i'm grateful for the thrills he provided. he's part of a proud tradition stretching back to 1982, when a never-heard-of-him player named willie mcgee took over in centerfield. since then the cardinals have had just 3 centerfielders: mcgee, lankford, and edmonds. colby rasmus has a chance to extend that reign of excellence.

mozeliak's facing the future, not the past. brave man; thankless task.