Yet the Mets’ offseason under rookie general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, though notably not featuring Harper or Machado, will still generate union enthusiasm. Partly because their $130ish million of expenditures place them second (for the moment, again) behind the Nationals. Partly because their faith in 36-year-old Robinson Cano and soon-to-be-35-year-old Jed Lowrie bucks the analytical trend of not trusting anyone over 30. And partly because Van Wagenen himself, the former agent with expressed player sympathies, serves as a test case in a time when so many team decision-makers cut their teeth in — and absorb the mindset of — Major League Baseball’s central office. Success by BVW could open the minds and the purse strings of other teams.
Source: Ken Davidoff, New York Post
It’s not that you don’t trust anyone over 30 – it’s that you don’t pay them expecting their production to be what it was when they were in their mid-to-late 20s. When he was 29, Cano had a 7.3 fWAR season. The chances of him doing that at 36 and above are about nil. The pay and the length of contracts those guys get should represent their likely production.
Generally, I’m opposed to the idea of doing something just because everyone else is doing it that way. But if everyone else is refusing to give lavish contracts to guys in their mid-to-late 30s, I’d say that’s a trend worth following.