Jim Edmonds isn’t even on the Brewers’ roster yet, but he apparently intends to spend a lot of time in the outfield at Miller Park this summer.
Edmonds won’t be available to speak to the Milwaukee media until next week and I will try to touch base on Saturday, but he did have some interesting comments Friday morning for 1380-AM in St. Louis. Edmonds inked a Minor League contract with the Brewers on Thursday, and among the first questions he fielded was about what made the Brewers a good fit.
“They told me that I would get a chance to play every day against right-handers,” said Edmonds, who indicated he was told he would mostly play center field but could also spell Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun or right fielder Corey Hart. “And it’s a good place to hit and a good place to play. I think that’s a good young team and I can help there. They reached out a long time ago and I really didn’t feel it. It just kind of happened.”
“Chance” may be the operative word, because Edmonds must first win a 40-man roster spot. According to reports on Thursday, he can elect free agency if he isn’t added to Milwaukee’s roster by March 25.
Later, asked whether he might bounce around the diamond a bit, Edmonds said: “I’m going there to play center field. Hopefully, everything works out.”
The Brewers let incumbent center Mike Cameron escape via free agency this winter after that traded for 24-year-old Carlos Gomez. The plan is to use Gomez as the everyday center fielder, and backup outfielder Jody Gerut, who is already on the 40-man roster, can also play that position.
Edmonds, though, has quite a pedigree. He has won eight Gold Glove Awards, including six straight from 2000-2005. He is also 39 years old, and will turn 40 on June 27.
“I want to be able to go out there and show everybody I can still play,” Edmonds said. “That’s about it. I don’t have a chip on my shoulder. I don’t really care about what everybody thinks anymore.”
More notes from his radio interview:
– Edmonds spoke with former Cardinals teammate Jeff Suppan and former Padres teammate Trevor Hoffman about the Brewers before committing this week.
“They said it’s quiet and a good place to really focus in on baseball and they like their team,” Edmonds said. “So I’m going to give it a shot. If it doesn’t work out then I can always walk away and say I have it my last chance, and move on from there.”
– Cardinals GM John Mozeliak called on Wednesday to explain that the Cardinals didn’t see Edmonds fitting their plans. Edmonds said he appreciated the gesture.
“They told me they weren’t interested and didn’t have any place for me,” Edmonds said. “At least John called me and was honest with me. He said that they didn’t have any at-bats for me and were more interested in a few other things right now.”
– Edmonds, who did not play in 2009, dismissed rumors that he is not in game shape.
“I’ll show everybody just like I did in Chicago,” Edmonds said, referring to his strong second half for the Cubs in 2008. “I’ll be ready to go when the bell rings, just like I always am. I feel great. I feel better than I’ve felt in five years, and that’s what the key is. If I can’t do it, I can’t do it. But at least I’ll give it a shot.”
– His agent, Paul Cohen, spoke with the Yankees “off and on” in recent weeks about whether New York might have a job for him.
“They were kind of up in the air whether they wanted a right-handed hitting left fielder or a left-handed hitting left fielder,” Edmonds told the radio station. “I don’t know what the other teams were. [Playing for the Yankees] would have been fun for a year, for sure.”
– Might he have some ‘What am I doing?’ moments as Spring Training wears on?
“I don’t think so. I’ve already pretty much turned the corner in my head about this,” Edmonds said. “I’m just going to look at it as if it’s just another season and go out there and do the best I can. If things aren’t working out and I’m not getting playing time, yeah, then I’ll think something might be up. Other than that I’m pretty excited about it, pretty positive.”