Cards trade Edmonds to Padres

Dec 15, 2007 - 6:22 PM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) - Jim Edmonds' career with the St. Louis Cardinals is over.

After eight years with the team, the four-time All-Star center fielder was traded to the San Diego Padres on Saturday for minor league infielder David Freese.

The trade came a day after the Padres broke off talks with free agent Mike Cameron, who played center field for San Diego the past two seasons.

"Parting with a player, who for so long has been the face of your organization, is a crossroads nearly every club reaches," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said.

"It's never an easy decision, however we feel that this deal will not only provide us greater roster flexibility, but it also netted us a terrific prospect in David Freese and it allows Jim the opportunity to play closer to family and friends as he approaches the end of his playing career."

Earlier this month, Edmonds had agreed to waive his no-trade clause if he was to be dealt to a team in Southern California. The 37-year-old is native of Fullerton, California.

The Cardinals will likely now turn to top prospect Colby Rasmus, who spent 2007 at the Class AA level, to man Edmonds' vacated position.

Edmonds, who was the longest-tenured Cardinal on the roster, will receive $8 million next season in the second installment of a two-year, $19 million contract signed in November 2006.

Edmonds' career has gone into a steep decline since he finished fourth in balloting for the 2004 National League MVP award. After undergoing surgery on both his right shoulder and foot prior to last season, Edmonds endured his least productive year as a Cardinal, hitting .252 with 12 home runs and 53 RBI in 117 games.

His batting average, runs scored, home run and RBI totals have declined each of the last three seasons.

Edmonds, an eight-time Gold Glove winner, had his best season in 2004, when he hit .301 with 42 homers, 111 RBI and 102 runs scored while hitting behind Albert Pujols. He also posted a career-best .643 slugging percentage.

"Jim provided Cardinals fans with some of the most memorable moments in Cardinals history during his career in St. Louis," Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said. "He will be remembered not only for his all-around great play, but also his many contributions to the St. Louis community."

A third baseman, the 24-year-old Freese batted .302 with 17 homers and 96 RBI at Class A Lake Elsinore this past season.

San Diego also received cash in the deal.

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