Baseball Prospectus asked this very question recently. It's a topic that deserves a hard look. My take is this: I think he needs to put up 2 more seasons comparable to his 2003 or 2004 numbers for voters to be convinced.
But Monday will be May 1st and Edmonds has yet to get it going in 2006. He's K'd 20 times in only 65 ABs and he's hitting a woeful .200/.293/.446=.739. BP, as I read it anyway, seems to think he'll be a go for the next few years. I'm not sure he even reaches production like last year's in 2006. He'll be 36 in June. Creative pharmacy and modern exercise/bodybuilding aside, there still aren't a lot of guys matching their career highs when they are 36 years old.
I look for Edmonds to dip again this year--while still playing well. But I think he has met the downside of his career. It won't be terrible, but the days of 1.000 OPS are over. He is in his 14th season, yet he has only made it to 500 or more ABs in 5 of those. His playing time will only decrease at this point.
How much does/should defense play into the matter? If we agree that Edmonds is one of if not the best defensive centerfielders of his era, shouldn't that be enough to propel him into the hall when we take into account his offensive numbers? On their own his offensive numbers are very good but not HOF numbers. But when added to a spectacular defensive career--at perhaps the toughest place to play on the field I lean toward saying yes. But then I wonder if he has had enough "sustained excellence" to be considered Hall worthy. That's why I said at the top that if he could get 2 more excellent seasons, maybe get a ring or 2000 hits or close to 400 HRs he would likely get in. So is Jim Edmonds is a Hall of Famer? Might be. I guess we just might have to wait until his career is over before we can say for sure.