St. Louis Cardinals: 5 trades which built the bridge to their 105-win 2004 season

St. Louis Cardinals World Series Ring Ceremony
St. Louis Cardinals World Series Ring Ceremony / Scott Rovak/GettyImages
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Trade 2. Jimmy Ball Game takes over Centerfield.

After Ray Lankford's knee surgery following the 1998 season, the Cardinals were in the market for a new everyday centerfielder. The J.D. Drew experiment as a centerfielder in 1999 didn't satisfy the front office, so the Cardinals went to the trade market.

On March 23, 2000, the Cardinals made their move when they traded second baseman Adam Kennedy and pitcher Kent Bottenfield to the Angels for Jim Edmonds.

Edmonds made his impact felt immediately in 2000 by slugging 42 HR and knocking in 108 RBIs. He also hit a slash line of .295/.411/.593 with a 147 OPS+ and earned a Gold Glove during his inaugural Cardinal season.

Edmonds continued to be an offensive and defensive standout for the Cardinals during the next five seasons, earning five more Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger Award.

However, it was 2004 that was the pinnacle of his career, and Edmonds' impact was immeasurable. During that season, Edmonds was part of the "MV3", along with Scott Rolen and Albert Pujols. Edmonds' left-handed bat launched 42 HR, 111 RBIs, and hit a slash line of .301/.418/.643 with an OPS+ of 1.061 Additionally, he won his 7th Gold Glove and his only Silver Slugger Award.

The most defining moment of his career in St. Louis came during the 2004 NLCS against the Houston Astros when he hit a 12th-inning home run to win Game 6.

Edmonds continued to play well the next two seasons, but injuries began to affect his career. The California native was traded after the 2007 season to the San Diego Padres for David Freese.

During Jim Edmonds' 8 years as a Cardinal, he hit a slash line of .285/.393/.555 with a 143 OPS+ and a 37.9 WAR. He was one of baseball's premiere centerfielders during his career, and is arguably, one of the best centerfielders in the history of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Jim Edmonds was admitted to the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014.