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Baseball and Aging

Tom Verducci at makes some interesting points this morning about the increasing value of young talent over aging, expensive veterans.

• The Red Sox have been great about getting out from under players before they age -- until now. Boston absolutely had to make the deal for Victor Martinez because it could not afford to keep giving full-time at-bats to Jason Varitek, a 37-year-old catcher, and Mike Lowell, a 35-year-old third baseman coming off hip surgery. The elders hit a combined .249 with six home runs in the two months leading up to the trade deadline.

So it goes in today's game, as the actuarial tables get rewritten. Only six players 36 or older have played enough to qualify for the batting title, and only four of them actually play in the field: Raul Ibanez, Chipper Jones, Mike Cameron and Craig Counsell.

• Get ready for another cold winter. Anybody else notice the complete lack of contract extensions signed this year? The union has, which is why most people expect a collusion charge is coming. The Pirates gave the extension idea a go with Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez, but by offering them cuts. Clubs value young players so highly now they would rather give them a shot than invest multiple years in free agents in their 30s. Get ready for more Adam Dunns, Orlando Hudsons, Orlando Cabreras, Bobby Abreus, etc.