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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

One more season? MLB veterans may have played final innings amid coronavirus uncertainty

A father in Lansdale, Pennsylvania leaned away from his phone and said to his daughter, “OK, same rules. Stop sign to stop sign. No high-fives for anybody.”

Avery Kratz, 7 years old, puffed away on her two-wheeler.

Nine days had passed since the epic drive from Tampa, away from baseball, 16 hours with only two stops, a family record.

“The Cal Ripken of drives,” Erik Kratz called it. “It’ll never be broken.”

We’ve been discussing aspects of the current unpleasantness as it relates to various aspects of the game- here’s a consideration as it relates to careers…..

 

 

QLE Posted: March 31, 2020 at 12:29 AM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: coronavirus, erik kratz, retirements, veterans

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: March 31, 2020 at 04:51 PM (#5935321)
It's not clear it should matter. They'll be a year older but they'll have also had a year to get rid of those aches and pains that come with age. The former is probably a bigger effect than the latter so they might be less skilled in 2021 than in 2020 ... but then all the young kids who would have replaced them in 2021 will have missed a year of development. Basically, some teams will still want to store some (very) vet backup C at AAA and Kratz will still fit that description, the number of other guys who fit that description won't have increased and the team's A ball C from 2019 who was expected to be in AA in 2020 and AAA in 2021 is still at AA in 2021.

So weirdly, if Erik Kratz 2021 was competing against Erik Kratz 2020 for a job, he probably wouldn't get it. But he won't be. Now of course he may decide he's already made enough money and just doesn't want to play at 41.
   2. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: March 31, 2020 at 05:09 PM (#5935328)
So this seems odd to me, last year there were only two players (Ichiro! and Fernando Rodney) in their age 40 or later season. According to BBRef that's the fewest since 1978 which also had two. You gotta go back to 1966 when Hoyt Wilhelm was the only 40 plusser.
   3. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 31, 2020 at 06:33 PM (#5935350)
#1 -

Remember though that this may be the first time a lot of these older players are actually around their kids in the summer. Maybe they decide they really like it
Or maybe they get a job, and realize it's not so bad. Or maybe the long ass travel is really not all that fun. I bet a lot of guys play so long just because they are afraid of life after the game. Finding out it's not so bad may really change their thinking. All of this could be just the opposite as well. Could convince a few guys to keep playing.
   4. bbmck Posted: March 31, 2020 at 06:36 PM (#5935352)
2015 was the final MLB pitch for 21 players who were Age 36+ in 2015. Then 2016 only had 9 such players.
2019 is currently the final MLB pitch for 21 players who were Age 36+ in 2019:

5 of those aren't really pitchers: Ian Kinsler, Kendrys Morales, Russell Martin, Ben Zobrist and Jeff Mathis
4 of those have a 2021 MLB contract: Justin Verlander $33mil, JA Happ $17mil vesting option which might trigger with short or no 2020 season as part of MLBPA negotiations, Sergio Romo $5mil with $250k buyout, Darren O'Day $3.5mil with $500k buyout
3 of those have a 2020 MLB contract: Adam Wainwright $5mil, Rich Hill $3mil, Oliver Perez $3mil
9 of those don't have a 2020 MLB contract: Jason Vargas, CC Sabathia, Matt Albers, Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke, Seunghwan Oh, Pat Neshek, Carlos Torres, Ervin Santana

Once you're old enough that your ability to perform your job is in question you have little job security in any profession. Everyone will be a year older or worse off next year. If the 2020 season is cancelled, unless players with a 2020 contract choose to retire they will almost definitely get 2021 spring training invites. If Wainwright has thrown his last MLB pitch that's either because that's what he wants or because he gets seriously injured in self-isolation.
   5. Jay Z Posted: March 31, 2020 at 07:06 PM (#5935362)
Wonder how many MLBers didn't come back after WWII.

That would have been mitigated by older players being less likely to get called up for service. Was a boon to some of them so to speak. Also was a law that vets got priority on getting their jobs back, which meant the teams had to sign the vets up at least.

I know Larry French didn't come back, but he chose to stay in the Navy.
   6. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: March 31, 2020 at 07:30 PM (#5935366)
Rajai Davis also had 25 AB's in 2019. Probably there was an outside chance he could have gotten a job this year, he was/is planning on playing in Mexico this year. He would be 40 next year. Always did like watching him play, if he did sometimes get picked off and you were like "what?"
   7. bbmck Posted: March 31, 2020 at 07:47 PM (#5935370)
Final Season since 1901, 1871-1900 has oddities like 1881 it's only the final season for 5.8% of the players and 1900 is 9.6% but also most of the highest % of final seasons:

100% - 2019
42.8% - 1945
34.9% - 1915
29.2% - 1902
28.1% - 1946
28% - 1918, 1910

27.x% - 1912, 1911, 1903
26.x% - 1920, 1914, 2018, 1901, 1909
25.x% - 1944, 1919, 1907, 1921, 1947
24.x% - 1929, 1925, 1908, 1934

23.x% - 1922, 1924, 1905, 1928
22.x% - 1927, 1953, 1926, 1913, 1916
21.x% - 1932, 1906, 1923
20.x% - 1904, 1949, 1917, 1955, 1952

19.x% - 2017, 1936, 1930, 2016, 1938, 1933
18.x% - 1939, 1954, 1948, 1935, 2015, 1959, 1931, 1937
17.x% - 1956, 2007, 2014, 1990, 1957, 2004, 1951, 2009, 1963
16.x% - the other 20 seasons

15.x% - 1967, 1964, 1942, 2006, 1972, 1980, 1971, 1989, 1966
14.x% - 2002, 1998, 1991, 1969, 1979, 1961, 1986, 1982, 1994, 1975, 1988, 1999, 1973
13.x% - 1987, 1981, 1940, 1983, 1941, 1978, 1992, 1997

12.9% - 1960
12.5% - 1965, 1984
12% - 1968
11.5% - 1976

Since 1955 the highest % are the last 5 years and 2015-17 probably won't drop much:

2015 - 18.5%
2016 - 19.5%
2017 - 19.8%
2018 - 26.2%
2019 - 100%

The end of WW2 and the Federal League are by far the largest drops in the 20th or 21st century assuming MLB resumes.
   8. Jay Z Posted: March 31, 2020 at 08:21 PM (#5935376)
1960, 1968, 1976 all years before expansion.

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