Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Times are a Changing

JP Arencibia is an ex-catcher that played on several teams and has called it a career at 31. The turnover rate is getting smaller and smaller thanks to the amount of young talent that's making it to the big leagues. There's a record number of players age twenty-five and under who teams are valuing more and more. Players are being rushed to the majors the minute they show top to mid prospect level talent. The dreaded stat WAR (Wins Above Replacement - where a player is compared to league average production) has made the old grizzled veterans almost obsolete. It seems like if you're not in the prime of your career teams aren't interested in bringing you on board. Just a year after the Baltimore Orioles signed first base/designated hitter Chris Davis to a huge 7 year 161 million dollar contract Davis' teammate Mark Trumbo had to scratch and claw his way to a 3 year 37.5 million dollar contract with the same Baltimore Orioles after coming off a season where Trumbo hit 47 home runs and drove in 108 runs.

Numbers like those usually guarantee a player a huge pay day, but not in this climate. Trumbo is mainly a designated hitter who spells Davis at first base from time to time and his defensive metrics aren't strong at all, but that's never stopped an American League team from going all in on a player like Trumbo and offering a Davis-like contract. It's not only an issue that Trumbo is suffering. Last year Chris Carter lead the National League in home runs with 41, but he also had 206 strike outs and has the same, if not worse, defensive numbers than Trumbo and Carter had to settle for a 1 year 3.5 million dollar deal with the New York Yankees or he was about to start taking offers from leagues in Asia. If the aging ball player isn't given a chance there are going to be a number of players like Arencibia who is going to be looking for work behind a hot mic and not a hot bat.

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