From the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter:
Players 36 and older (more specifically, in their 36-or-older seasons, using the age-as-of-July 1 convention) have accounted for just 2.8% of plate appearances to date. That’s a sharp fall-off from last year’s 4.9%, and the lowest number since the expansion season of 1977 (2.7%). It’s one of the lowest numbers in the free-agency era.
The baseball business isn’t going to go back to valuing service time, and it isn’t going to stop generating 23-year-olds who will make $3 million over the next four seasons for comparable production — with more upside — to the 32-year-old who will cost $43 million over that time. This is the new normal.
It will be curious to see if the MLBPA addresses this in the next negotiations or if they’ll prioritize off days/working conditions again.