Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
With the free agency debates going, how long a career can one expect from a player has come up. Lets dig into the history.

Some basic figures to start using data from the Lahman Database (available for free in MS Access format, SQL, and others - updated through the 2019 season, since it is a labor of love he updates when he gets a chance so I expect 2020 to be added at some point in the next few months).

By decade born, ignoring the 80's and beyond as many are still active. Last player born in the 70's who was active was Ichiro who retired in 2019 after playing 2 games. Columns are the age they played their final season (based on age as of July 1st that year).  Note: the 1830's and 40's were mainly stars of pre-pro ball who were able to last until the majors existed in 1871 (the earliest year of data in the database).  Also of note: no Negro League stats were factored in as the database hasn't been updated since that was declared an official Major League.

Decade Born
16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 >40
1830's
0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 10% 0% 20% 0% 0% 0% 10% 0% 0% 10%
1840's 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 4% 8% 4% 5% 11% 14% 10% 8% 2% 4% 5% 5% 2% 3% 2% 0% 1% 4% 0% 1%
1850's 0% 0% 1% 1% 3% 4% 5% 5% 6% 8% 8% 10% 6% 6% 7% 7% 6% 6% 3% 2% 3% 1% 1% 1% 0% 0%
1860's 0% 0% 1% 2% 4% 8% 8% 11% 10% 8% 7% 7% 7% 6% 4% 3% 3% 2% 1% 2% 1% 1% 1% 0% 1% 0%
1870's 0% 0% 1% 2% 2% 3% 4% 7% 7% 8% 9% 6% 9% 8% 6% 5% 4% 4% 3% 3% 2% 2% 1% 1% 0% 1%
1880's 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 5% 7% 7% 9% 9% 8% 8% 7% 7% 5% 5% 5% 3% 2% 2% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 0%
1890's 0% 0% 1% 2% 3% 6% 7% 9% 9% 7% 7% 6% 6% 5% 5% 4% 4% 4% 4% 3% 2% 2% 1% 1% 1% 0%
1900's 0% 0% 1% 1% 2% 4% 5% 6% 7% 7% 8% 6% 8% 5% 4% 4% 4% 3% 4% 3% 2% 3% 2% 2% 1% 1%
1910's 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 3% 5% 5% 4% 6% 7% 8% 8% 7% 8% 6% 7% 7% 4% 4% 3% 3% 2% 1% 0% 1%
1920's 0% 1% 0% 1% 2% 3% 3% 5% 6% 6% 8% 9% 7% 7% 5% 6% 6% 6% 5% 4% 3% 2% 2% 1% 1% 0%
1930's 0% 0% 0% 1% 1% 2% 3% 4% 6% 4% 8% 9% 7% 8% 7% 7% 7% 6% 5% 4% 4% 2% 1% 2% 1% 0%
1940's 0% 0% 1% 1% 1% 2% 5% 6% 5% 6% 8% 7% 10% 7% 5% 6% 6% 3% 4% 3% 2% 3% 2% 1% 1% 1%
1950's 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 2% 2% 5% 6% 9% 8% 8% 8% 7% 8% 6% 4% 5% 4% 4% 3% 2% 2% 1% 0% 1%
1960's 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 2% 3% 4% 7% 8% 8% 8% 7% 6% 7% 6% 6% 5% 5% 5% 3% 3% 2% 2% 1%
1970's 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 1% 2% 6% 8% 9% 8% 9% 8% 7% 6% 7% 6% 5% 6% 4% 3% 2% 2% 1% 0%

Total 0% 0% 0% 1% 1% 3% 4% 6% 6% 7% 8% 8% 8% 7% 6% 6% 5% 5% 4% 4% 3% 2% 2% 1% 1% 2%
Percent Retired after age 100% 100% 100% 99% 99% 97% 94% 90% 84% 78% 71% 63% 55% 47% 40% 34% 28% 23% 18% 14% 11% 8% 5% 4% 2% 2%
Born since 1950 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 2% 3% 5% 8% 9% 8% 9% 7% 7% 6% 6% 6% 5% 5% 4% 3% 2% 2% 1% 1%
% Retired born after 1950 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 99% 97% 94% 88% 80% 72% 64% 55% 48% 41% 35% 29% 23% 18% 13% 9% 6% 4% 2% 1%


Clearly few make it to their 30's, fewer to their 40's. Using 1950+ year of birth you get only 35% still active at age 30. 28/29 is the half way point (by 28/29 half of players have retired) then it goes down by 5 points a year until age 35 when we are sub 10%. Ah you say, but those are all players including a lot of guys who played only 1 year. What about good ones?

All-Stars 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 >40
1890's 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 33% 11% 22% 11% 0%
1900's 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 4% 5% 8% 7% 3% 16% 10% 14% 3% 6%
1910's 0% 0% 1% 1% 1% 1% 3% 4% 6% 13% 9% 12% 13% 11% 6% 4% 1% 3%
1920's 1% 0% 0% 1% 2% 1% 4% 2% 8% 7% 9% 15% 12% 10% 11% 4% 4% 1%
1930's 0% 1% 0% 1% 1% 2% 4% 9% 11% 6% 12% 13% 10% 7% 3% 7% 4% 0%
1940's 0% 0% 0% 0% 2% 5% 4% 5% 6% 6% 9% 9% 6% 9% 8% 6% 3% 3%
1950's 0% 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 5% 6% 7% 7% 11% 12% 10% 7% 8% 4% 2% 4%
1960's 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 2% 1% 4% 4% 7% 11% 8% 12% 9% 9% 6% 8% 3%
1970's 0% 0% 0% 1% 1% 2% 3% 3% 5% 10% 8% 13% 13% 10% 8% 8% 3% 2%

Total 1% 1% 1% 2% 2% 3% 4% 5% 7% 8% 9% 11% 10% 10% 8% 7% 5% 7%
Percent Retired after age 100% 99% 97% 96% 94% 92% 89% 86% 81% 74% 66% 57% 46% 36% 27% 18% 12% 7%
Born since 1950 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 3% 5% 6% 9% 11% 12% 13% 10% 9% 6% 5% 9%
% Retired born after 1950 100% 100% 100% 100% 99% 99% 97% 94% 90% 83% 75% 64% 52% 39% 30% 20% 14% 9%

Similar pattern, but boy they last a lot longer.  35/36 is the dividing point - a LOT later than I expected it to be.  Virtually no change over the years on this too.  Huh.  Frankie Zak was the 24 year old wonder.  All-Star at 22 in 1944, just 36 more games as the war ended (22 OPS+ as a SS/PH/2B for Pittsburgh).

Sure that was good, but those include one year wonders. How about the guys who got there multiple times?

Multiple time All-Star 25 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 >40
1890's 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 20% 20% 20% 20% 20%
1900's 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 3% 5% 8% 3% 2% 19% 16% 20% 3% 22%
1910's 0% 1% 0% 0% 2% 3% 3% 14% 8% 10% 18% 14% 10% 5% 2% 10%
1920's 0% 0% 2% 0% 4% 0% 6% 5% 11% 14% 14% 12% 13% 5% 6% 7%
1930's 0% 1% 1% 2% 4% 6% 12% 5% 13% 15% 11% 7% 4% 8% 5% 6%
1940's 0% 0% 1% 2% 4% 3% 6% 7% 4% 11% 10% 13% 11% 8% 3% 17%
1950's 1% 0% 0% 0% 1% 3% 8% 7% 7% 10% 12% 12% 11% 7% 4% 18%
1960's 0% 0% 0% 1% 0% 2% 4% 7% 10% 9% 12% 10% 13% 5% 12% 15%
1970's 1% 0% 0% 0% 2% 2% 3% 9% 11% 12% 19% 13% 5% 14% 5% 5%

Total 0% 0% 0% 1% 2% 3% 6% 7% 9% 11% 13% 12% 10% 9% 5% 12%
Percent Retired after age 100% 100% 100% 99% 98% 96% 94% 88% 81% 72% 61% 48% 36% 26% 18% 12%
Born since 1950 1% 0% 0% 0% 1% 2% 5% 8% 10% 11% 15% 13% 11% 9% 8% 5%
% Retired born after 1950 100% 99% 99% 99% 99% 98% 96% 91% 82% 72% 61% 46% 33% 22% 13% 5%

So real stars you get older yet.  50% mark is between ages 36 and 37 (almost all the way to 37 in fact).  One more year than the one hit wonders.  Only 14 retired before 30.  Jose Rosado the youngest multi-all-star (all star at 22 and 24 but career ending injury at 25), also young and recent was Scott Cooper (2 times for Red Sox, then smartly traded to St Louis for his age 27 season, missed age 28 season, came back at 29 with a 54 OPS+ and never played again).  Mark Fidrych is the other 25 year old, all-star at 21 and 22, injured at 23, done at 25 (tried in minors for 3 more years).  And that covers the 3 multi-all-stars born in 1950 or later to not make it to 30 in the majors.

To be honest, this is not what I expected at all.  I thought we'd see a bit of an increase - more like the 1 year between 1 time and multi-time all-stars.  Not a massive shift like this.  Checking the 'never made an all-star team' crowd the numbers were almost identical to the first set due to how few players make an all-star team (under 100 a year out of 800+ players a year).  Also of note is how fast they start falling down after that half way mark though.  12% retire after age 36 season, same after age 37, the biggest 2 years for retirement.  38 and 39 also see big drops with 14% playing at 41+.  However, only 2% retire by the point 50% of other players do (28) probably all injury related.  I suspect we'd be pushed a bit further still if I limited it to HOF'ers but I figure this shows us enough. 

Bottom line: Basically if a guy is good enough to make an all-star team, his career should be well into his 30's unless he gets a career ending injury, with roughly 1 in 10 not making it to their 30's, although if they make 2 teams their odds of lasting goes up by another year.  Guys who aren't all-stars?  Well, they are lucky to make it to their 30's.  So guys like Travis Shaw only last about as long as he did (to 30, although he might get another shot still but no one has signed him yet) while guys like Justin Smoak (1 time All-Star) get a few more chances (lasted in majors to 33, now in Japan).  Wouldn't be surprised if that 'all-star' status gets GM's to give them extra spring invites or AAA deals that make it possible for them to get those extra few years.  So signing a former all-star at 31 to a 5 year deal you are likely to get him to play all 5 years, but quality is the next big question which I'll try to address another day when I find the time to make a new set of queries to estimate value.

Career Length | 36 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 09:04 PM EST (#393498) #
Lots of scuttlebutt out there that the Jays have signed Springer, pending a physical. 5 years, $110M
bpoz - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 09:22 PM EST (#393503) #
RIP Don Sutton.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 09:44 PM EST (#393508) #
Brendon Khun says "Source: #BlueJays and George Springer in agreement, pending physical" on Twitter. He is a writer for https://bluejaysnation.com/. No idea if he has the goods, but nice to see none-the-less. Article here.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 09:50 PM EST (#393510) #
Rosenthal now reporting Springer to Jays
John Northey - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 09:52 PM EST (#393511) #
Given the stats I report on above this doesn't scare me as much as it did earlier. I had a good idea on the 28/29 range for overall ML players, but didn't know All-Stars (especially multi-ones) lasted as long as they do. Springer is a 3 time All-Star - a rare creature. Checking just 3 time All-Stars you get just 4% retired by age 30, 32% of those who make age 30 are retired by age 35 (ie: you get 4 out of 5 seasons), 46% by age 36, 59% by age 37. So you can see the risk skyrockets for each year you add to the deal after 5 years (since it seems very unlikely he gets less than a 5 year deal).
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 09:54 PM EST (#393512) #
Heyman reporting that it's not done yet, Mets still in. Price expected to exceed $125,000,000
Glevin - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 09:55 PM EST (#393513) #
"Rosenthal now reporting Springer to Jays"

He hasn't AFIK. He confirmed Yates deal. No major reporter is saying anything other than Jays are making a big push.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 09:58 PM EST (#393516) #
Joey Vendetta confirms, and Mike Wilner trusts him so it looks like it is for real. Strange is a hockey guy David Pagnotta confirms it too with 5 years $110 mil as the numbers. If true then the Jays did well. $22 mil a year for Springer is a lot better than the rumored 5 years $150 mil earlier.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 10:04 PM EST (#393517) #
There are a lot of fake Twitter accounts designed to troll so you have to be careful reading the latest comments for a specific hashtag. I have seen a fake Jeff Passan and fake Ken Rosenthal so far. As far as established reputable sources, only Heyman has posted about a Springer/Jays deal "gaining some momentum" and he mentioned the price could top $125M.

We just have to wait and see. Definitely appears to be some smoke, though.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 10:05 PM EST (#393519) #
If true, then who is the outfielder the Jays will trade or do they trade Tellez instead and move Hernandez to DH? Gurriel Jr is the most often talked about in trades, could move Grichuk to LF in that case. Will be interesting with 3B and SP being the issues to deal with.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 10:05 PM EST (#393520) #
Rosenthal twitter feed I saw is indeed a fake account, 1 follower.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 10:12 PM EST (#393522) #


Jon Morosi
@jonmorosi
Sources: #BlueJays now are the frontrunners to sign George Springer.
@_bkuh_
and
@RadioVendetta
each have reported tonight that the Jays and Springer have a deal in place pending a physical exam.
@MLBNetwork

@MLB
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 10:12 PM EST (#393523) #
Morosi just tweeted that the Jays are the front runners to sign Springer. He is giving Vendetta and bkuh credit. Those two other people are still reporting the deal is done pending a physical. Real account.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 10:38 PM EST (#393525) #
Joel Sherman says Jays are closing in on a deal with Springer.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 10:38 PM EST (#393526) #
Joel Sherman

"source confiirms multiple reports: #BlueJays are closing in on George Springer."

Very exciting times!
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 10:42 PM EST (#393527) #
It will be interesting to see whether the Jays add Bauer as well.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 10:51 PM EST (#393528) #
$125/5yrs is a legit offer.

Good on shapirotkins.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 10:52 PM EST (#393529) #
One of Rosenthalís sources says 70% chance deal gets done between Jays and Springer.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 10:53 PM EST (#393530) #
For a 31yr old too, knowing that value is tenuous.

Not bad at all.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 10:56 PM EST (#393532) #
Passan says a deal is in place. Letís see what the terms are before we decide whether this is a good move.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 10:57 PM EST (#393534) #
$150 /6yrz !!!

Good job stepping up front office.

Finally a legit big boy offer not fretting Uber value above all.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 10:59 PM EST (#393535) #
Seems to be pretty official now, all the real guys are reporting it.
Heyman says it's for $150M over 6 years.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 10:59 PM EST (#393536) #
Considering we are giving up zero prospects, this will need to be a 7 year deal for me to not like it.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 11:00 PM EST (#393537) #
One more big boy signing FO.

get'er done!
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 11:01 PM EST (#393538) #
So... Jays pay an extra year for Springer to lure him north...same as they did with Ryu.
Eephus - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 11:02 PM EST (#393539) #
Woohoo! I'm a big fan and really like this move for the Jays, it really fills an area of obvious need for the team and nabbing a potentially elite talent for nothing but money is always a positive step.

I'm talking about Kirby Yates of course. What else is going on?

(Jokes aside, I think Yates is a terrific addition but health is obviously the big question (bone chips isn't as scary as other arm injuries though?). Yates' splitter (check some videos) is pretty fun and nasty though. Also... I've posted enough on here about how much I'd love to see the Blue Jays sign Springer but I'm gonna be extra cautious and rejoice/go into greater depth only when it's 100 percent for sure cross-my-heart-and-hope-to die etc happening. Still though... tentative excitement).
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 11:03 PM EST (#393540) #
Championship contender style move.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 11:04 PM EST (#393541) #
Man, huge get! Overpriced? Sure but Jays have no choice when it comes to free agents. This is the time to go and get guys and Springer is an absolute stud. The Jays lineup is now absolutely crazy (and very righty heavy). Jays have choices now. Trade one of Gurriel/Teoscar? Sign which starter? Who do they get for 3B? This is a really good team and Yates and Springer really improved them.
Eephus - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 11:04 PM EST (#393542) #
....and just as I write that, it's confirmed. 6/150.

I'm down with it. Very down.


Spifficus - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 11:07 PM EST (#393543) #
Overpriced, but not ridiculously so.
I'm a definite fan of the move, and the Yates deal as well. Heck, even Chatwood's warmed on me over the day.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 11:09 PM EST (#393544) #
The added value of this deal, of course, is that it perks up the ears of all the other free agents and makes the jays suddenly much more attractive.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 11:09 PM EST (#393545) #
Wow, was not expecting Springer to get six years, but makes sense for the Jays to have to tack on an extra year to keep him away from the Mets. Here's hoping Springer ages gracefully.

Springer and Yates on the same day is huge. There is an OF logjam now so more moves likely coming soon, either one of the OF's or maybe Tellez being moved (opening up DH to rotate the OF's).
Glevin - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 11:12 PM EST (#393546) #
The Jays can trade an OFer but they don't need to. If Vlad covers 3B, they have everything filled. If he needs to DH/1B, they only have one extra player and you can easily cycle 5 players through 4 spots.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 11:14 PM EST (#393548) #
Apparently the Mets topped out at 6yrs/$120m.

And shapkins trumped them. Value be dammed.

Thats how you GM a big money team.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 11:23 PM EST (#393551) #
The Jays are still trying for Michael Brantley, according to Rosenthal. Not sure where the fit would be there, he's a DH and a part-time LF at this stage in his career, but a phenomenal offensive player that complements the lineup perfectly. Rosenthal suggested a few days ago that Springer and Brantley could come in a package since they are friends and repped by the same group. That would definitely force some trades to happen.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 11:29 PM EST (#393553) #
You gotta think Lourdes is on his way out if Brantley signs here.
Career Length | 36 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.