Cardinals and Tommy Edman Agree to Two-Year Contract, Avoiding Hearing

photo: Tommy Edman (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals and starting center fielder Tommy Edman are not going to an arbitration hearing, after all. The two sides agreed to a contract that will cover 2024 and 2025, his final two years prior to free agency.

St. Louis Cardinals release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Monday, January 22) that they have agreed on a two-year (2024-25) contract with infielder/outfielder Tommy Edman, avoiding a potential arbitration hearing.

Edman, 28, is set to enter his 6th season with St. Louis, the team that drafted him in 2016 out of Stanford University.

“We are pleased to announce today that we have agreed to terms with Tommy on a new two-year deal,” said Cardinals’ President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak. “Tommy’s strong fundamental play, athleticism and versatility remains a valuable asset that we view as an important part of our team identity.”

Tommy Edman

The switch-hitting Edman batted .248 with 13 HR’s and a team-high 27 stolen bases last season while making starts at shortstop (41), second base (34), center field (30) and in right field (4), earning Rawlings N.L. Gold Glove finalist selection for the 3rd-straight season. He won the N.L. Gold Glove in 2021 for second basemen.

Since making his Major League debut (June 8, 2019), Edman ranks 4th among MLB switch-hitters in hits (590) behind Bryan Reynolds (604), Francisco Lindor (606), and José Ramírez (628). He is one of just seven switch-hitters in all of Major League Baseball to compile 100+ hits in each of the last three seasons (2021-23).

In 596 career games, Edman has logged a .265 batting mark with 53 HR’s, 222 RBI and 106 stolen bases. His 89 stolen bases over the past three seasons are T-2nd in the majors with Trea Turner and Starling Marte behind only Ronald Acuna, Jr. (119). Edman and Turner are the only players to have swiped 25 or more bases in each of the past three seasons, while Tommy’s 86.2 pct. career stolen base success rate (106-for-123) is 3rd best in MLB history for players with at least 120 attempts.

Brian Walton’s take

The two sides did not avoid a POTENTIAL arbitration hearing, they avoided the sure thing. Less than two weeks ago, the two sides filed at $6,950,000 (Edman) and $6,500,000 (team), respectively. The Cardinals’ “file and trial” position meant they would go to hearing unless the two sides decided on a multi-year deal. Of course, there was no guarantee that the Cards would make an offer at all, let alone one acceptable to the player. Fortunately for both, it seemed to work out while avoiding any potential animosity during the hearing.

Edman, who has 4.114 days of MLB service time, will now be under contract for his final two seasons before becoming eligible for free agency.

According to reports, his base salary breakdown is $7 million in 2024 and $9.5 million in 2025. There are also bonuses – $250,000 for a top five finish in MVP voting, $150,000 for World Series MVP and $100,000 each for Gold Glove, Platinum Glove, Silver Slugger and League Championship Series MVP.

As a reminder, following off-season wrist surgery, Edman is not yet 100%. He is throwing and taking ground balls, but is likely not going to be cleared to hit when spring training games begin. He hopes to get in a couple of weeks of games at the end and expects to be ready for Opening Day.

Dylan Carlson is the back up center fielder with Edman the only viable reserve shortstop behind rookie Masyn Winn on the team’s possible 26-man roster to start the season.

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