Cardinals sign three-time All-Star Brandon Crawford, according to sources: Why St. Louis is making the move now

The St. Louis Cardinals are signing three-time All-Star Brandon Crawford, league sources said.

Crawford, 37, is expected to serve as a backup shortstop behind 21-year-old rookie Masyn Wynn while the team waits for more clarity on Tommy Edman's recovery from wrist surgery. The deal is awaiting physical.

The Cardinals have been actively monitoring the reserve outfielder market throughout the month with Edman's status unclear on Opening Day. Edman, who was slated to be the team's starting midfielder but would fill in when needed, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist in October. He has not yet been approved to do live flips and there is no current timeline for when he might be allowed to play in the game. With Edman sidelined indefinitely, the Cardinals were left scrambling for viable depth options at shortstop after Wayne.

Crawford had previously spent all 13 years of his major league career with the San Francisco Giants, pitching a major role in the 2012 and 2014 World Series. Crawford was an All-Star in 2021, but his performance began to decline in 2022. He appeared in just 93 games last season due to various injuries and posted a .194/.273/.314 line.

Why sign a backup stop now?

The backup market has picked up speed over the past few days, with Tim Anderson signing a one-year, $5 million contract with the Miami Marlins on Saturday, and Amed Rosario signing a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. last week. On Monday morning, Nick Ahmed had reportedly reached a minor league deal with the Giants, and by Monday afternoon, Kiké Hernandez had reached an agreement to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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While there is still a month of spring games remaining, the Cardinals cannot afford to wait out the rapidly changing market and risk losing needed shortstop depth. Wayne is still expected to be the favorite at shortstop, but having an experienced veteran in Crawford backing him up should take some of the pressure off.

What does this mean for addiction?

Edman's progress remains closely monitored as he works through his hitting program. Manager Ollie Marmol said Tuesday that switch-hitting Edman was progressing faster with his left swing than with his right. The next step is to make sure both swings are caught before Edman can progress to batting practice from a coach.

“It's an everyday thing,” Marmol said. “There are certain days (Edman's wrist) that feels really good, certain days that it doesn't feel good, and then the next day it feels great. So we've got to take it day by day at the moment, until we get a little bit better into the rhythm.”

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(Photo: Brandon Vallance/Getty Images)

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