La Russa: Edmonds may still be “hobbled”

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The Cardinals signed veteran outfielder Jim Edmonds to a minor league contract earlier this month and gave him an invitation to spring training.

He doesn’t have a guaranteed roster spot and will have to earn his way on to the big league roster with a strong showing in Grapefruit League games. It will be a difficult task, made even more difficult by the fact that he is still in recovery mode from surgery on his Achilles tendon.

According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa admitted Sunday in spring camp that Edmonds is not quite ready.

“I know the last time I talked to him, he was hobbled,” said La Russa. “You’ve got to see when he’s available to show what he can do and then you start figuring. But the last time I heard, he still was not ready.”

Maybe Edmonds will be open to beginning the season in Triple-A Memphis or on the big league disabled list. The 40-year-old is sitting on 393 career home runs at the moment and hoping to eclipse 400 before filing retirement papers. If he’s healthy, the Cardinals will use him as a backup to Lance Berkman in right field. If he’s not healthy, Jon Jay should have a major league roster spot.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.