1) Remember when people wondered last winter why the market was especially slow for older position players? The 2009 season is still early, but so far it is reminding everyone why investing in older players these days is risky business. There are seven players aged 33 and older who switched teams last winter who have posted an OPS below .750:
Five weeks do not a trend make. But it's also difficult to remember a time when so many star players in their mid-30s were looking old all of a sudden. The dimming stars include
Meanwhile, no club has wanted old free agents such as
Is it age bias? You bet. With not only steroid testing but also amphetamine testing in place, clubs no longer can count on players extending their prime years through their mid- and late-30s. The Astros are in trouble because they counted on way too many old players. The Yankees have scuffled because of injuries to old players. The Tigers have tried to remake themselves since the middle of last year by losing some old players (
2) Psst: Want to know the quickest way to improve as a team? Catch the ball. The Tampa Bay Rays proved it last season by jumping from worst to first in
And let's face it, older players aren't generally known for stellar defense. The renewed emphasis on defense also hasn't helped the value of older players.
3) The most improved player in baseball is
Meanwhile, the Orioles called up rookie