JUPITER, Fla. -- Jim Edmonds is scheduled to speak with the Cardinals' medical staff at some point on Monday or Tuesday morning, but an arrival date for the outfielder remains elusive.
Edmonds, a star with the Cards from 2000-07, recently agreed to a Minor League deal with a non-roster invitation to Spring Training. However, he is recuperating from January surgery on his left Achilles' tendon, and he has not undergone a physical exam with the Cardinals.
"I finally did speak with him [Sunday] night," general manager John Mozeliak said, "and right now we're going to have him speak with our doctor here in the next 24 hours and try to set up a time and really get to see how he's feeling. And then depending on how that call goes, that will lead to the next step."
It has become clear that whenever (and whether) Edmonds does arrive at camp, he will be behind other players. Manager Tony La Russa said Monday that hitting coach Mark McGwire had seen Edmonds recently, and that Edmonds still is far short of normal mobility.
"He was still not walking around briskly," La Russa said. "So I don't think he's really close."
As a result, it would seem to be difficult for Edmonds to compete fairly for a roster spot. Thus, it's possible that the eight-time Gold Glove winner could remain in Florida after the Cardinals break camp, participating in a rehab program or extended Spring Training.
"We'd be open to that," Mozeliak said.
Batista jumped at chance to play for La Russa
JUPITER, Fla. -- Entering his 23rd season of professional baseball, there's not a lot that Miguel Batista hasn't experienced. But as Batista pondered his options this winter, he realized one thing he'd been missing. So he signed with the Cardinals to play for manager Tony La Russa.
"In my case, I've been around forever, 23 years," Batista said. "For me, the main reason to come here was Tony. I never played for a Hall of Fame manager. ... You hear from some of the greatest players of the past saying, 'When you play for the guy that he knows the game, you will notice the difference.' Probably this was my last chance to play for a Hall of Famer. [Bobby] Cox retired, [Joe] Torre retired. [Jim] Leyland is on the other side [the American League]. So this was probably my only chance."
So he jumped at it, despite not having any guarantees. Batista is on a Minor League contract, competing with a number of pitchers for the last job in the Cards' bullpen and perhaps the chance for some spot starts.
"I just came here to help the team," he said. "When I talked to Tony on the phone, he told me just to come and do what I do best. He said, 'You've been one of the best in doing that, like a utility right-hander. Just do whatever is needed at the time.' I said, 'I've done it for other teams and I would like to do it for you. You have a really good team.'"
For the Cards' part, they had long considered Batista an appealing pitcher. So although he's a few years removed from being a solid starter for the D-backs and Blue Jays, Batista was a welcome addition in St. Louis.
"The first thing that [general manager John Mozeliak] and I both said was, 'We finally got him in our uniform,'" La Russa said. "We've been after him for years. Because his experience is all across every role. He's started, he's pitched late, he's pitched to a hitter, one inning, multiple innings. He's in great shape and he's got great experience. He'll get a lot of activity."
Club unconcerned with Valdes' delayed arrival
JUPITER, Fla. -- Raul Valdes is the only late arrival among Cardinals pitchers and catchers, and the club doesn't seem too concerned about the delay in the left-hander's appearance at camp.
Valdes, 33, is held up due to a visa issue, general manager John Mozeliak said. A native of Cuba, Valdes has been pitching in the Dominican Republic, and that's where Mozeliak said he was trying to get his work visa straightened out.
Mozeliak expressed no real worry about Valdes' hangup, and neither did manager Tony La Russa. Valdes will likely serve as a starting pitcher at Triple-A Memphis this year, though he could have an outside chance of earning a spot in the Cards' Major League bullpen.
Last year was Valdes' first in the Major Leagues. He made 39 appearances for the Mets, 38 of them in relief. He struck out 56 against 27 walks, posting a 4.91 ERA in 58 2/3 innings.
JUPITER, Fla. -- General manager John Mozeliak said Monday that he does not anticipate any additional signings of non-roster players this spring, unless the club is hit significantly by injury. ... Among the non-pitching arrivals at camp on Monday were Jon Jay, Allen Craig, Daniel Descalso, Skip Schumaker and David Freese. ... Ryan Franklin said Monday that he intends to throw his changeup more this season.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.