Part-Time Brewers Role Might Not Be Enough for Edmonds
But he does know he didn't come back to play twice a week.
So while he has a good shot to be a backup outfielder and first baseman for the Brewers, Edmonds could also call off his comeback at the end of the month and just pack it in.
His heart doesn't seem completely in it to begin with.
"Some days," he said last week, "driving in, I think [WTF]."
Asked by FanHouse if he was OK with being the fourth outfielder and playing a couple of times a week, Edmonds said, "I don't know if that's going to be enough."
As spring training closes, he said, he plans to meet with general manager Doug Melvin -- who gave Edmonds, 39, a non-roster invite sight unseen -- to discuss his situation.
"It depends on the role," he said. "If the role kind of diminishes, then I feel like I can just walk away. If it stays true to what they said and I get a chance to play a lot, then I'm all for it. We'll see how it goes."
A four-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glover, Edmonds could give Milwaukee an alternative against right-handed pitching, since the expected starting outfield of Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez and Corey Hart comprises all right-handed hitters.
Or if the still-unpolished Gomez falters, Edmonds could take over in center.
(Significant playing time at first base seems unlikely, since Prince Fielder hits lefty and played all 162 games last year.)
"I think he's done extremely well after missing the whole year," Brewers manager Ken Macha said of Edmonds. "It's tough not to be able to put a Gold Glove outfielder out there. ... We're looking for balance in our lineup, more left-handed hitters. If he's playing well, and swinging the bat well, we can either rest people or take a look at tough match-ups for the other guys and get him some at-bats."
Between the Padres and Cubs in 2008, Edmonds hit .235 with 20 homers in 401 at-bats and an .822 OPS.
But he got no offers he deemed worthy the following winter and decided to step away from baseball.
"I needed a mostly mental break," he said. "When the offers weren't as good as I thought they should [be] I just needed to get over it."
The year off, he said, was "great. The beach and the kids. Playing some golf. I spent some time with my older daughters, who I haven't seen very often for a while. ... We got to go to the beach with them for the first time in whatever."
So, I asked, why? Why is Edmonds in the Cactus League and not still on the beach?
"I've asked myself that plenty," he said. "I haven't come up with a good answer yet."
Because he enjoys the game so much?
"I don't know if 'enjoy' is the word," Edmonds said. "This is my job and this is what I know. I still feel I can play. So just taking that approach."
Is it because he has a shot at 400 homers (he needs 18) and 2,000 hits (he needs 119)?
"I think really, for me, it's not," Edmonds said. "I think I was just kind of pissed off a little bit about last year. I think I had a pretty good second half with not being able to play every day and just didn't get an offer and was kind of upset about that. But other than that there's no other reason -- just to prove to myself I can still play."
When he got the itch to play again, Edmonds wanted to go to St. Louis, his wife's hometown and where he played 2000-07.
"I figured it would be a nice fit," he said. "We still have a home there and a business there. They weren't interested. These guys [the Brewers] had been calling for a while. So I figured I'd give it a chance."
Yet every day, the tug of his family fights the allure of being in uniform again.
"There's been some tough mornings here, there's been some tough days," he said. "Mentally, just trying to push through it. See what happens. Just taking it day by day -- really, really for the first time in my life, the cliché of taking it day by day is really coming into play.
"The whole thought about picking up and moving, having to find another place to live, sometimes that just mentally gets into your head. When I'm here, I'm dedicated, I'm into it. I love being [around this team]. This clubhouse is great, the guys are great."
But like playing twice a week, it may not be enough.
"I didn't take a year off on purpose," he said.
Maybe not the last one. But the next one will be.