Look who was still on the free-agent market as the calendar turned to 2017: Jose Bautista, 36; Mike Napoli, 35; Brandon Moss, 33; Luis Valbuena; 31, Mark Trumbo, 30; Colby Rasmus, 30; and Pedro Alvarez, 29. All of them have hit 25 homers or more in a season. The isolated skill of hitting home runs has lost some appeal, especially when age and the lack of a strong defensive component work against the player. This year, the glut of these similar types of sluggers created a buyers’ market. You know that old saying about “the back of the baseball card”? The buying power is now in the hands of whip-smart general managers with slightly more information at their disposal and who are so young they might ask, “What’s a baseball card?”
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