There’s this old science fiction film from the 1970′s called Logan’s Run. It takes place in a future where human beings get euthanized by a state police force after their thirtieth birthday. Everyone has a red crystal embedded in one of their palms, and, once it starts blinking like a dying battery, you know it’s time to get your affairs in order. The jig is up. They’re coming for you.
Advanced statistical analysis has made every baseball offseason Logan’s Run. Guys like Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher, Kevin Youklis, Mike Napoli, and so many of the free agent class of 2013, have blinking palms and declining production. A Hamilton still gets paid more years and dollars for his old glories than reason says he should by any owner with championship dreams.
Swisher is more of a middle class player. He has the Yankees pedigree and a steady career slash line. To a team like the Indians, contenders in the baseball’s weakest division, he is considered a winning influence worth a respectable contract despite his age. Below Swisher’s level, so many thirty something free agents are signed to one year, incentive laden deals as stop gaps.