Assuming Health: Old Catchers v. Old Second Basemen In The Year 2017

The year is 2017. President Larry the Cable Guy has been sworn into office. The Rams have left Saint Louis... FOR THE MOON! At the Vatican, Jaleel White is (finally) canonized.

In Saint Louis, 34 year old catcher Yadier Molina is finishing up the last year of a contract extension signed in 2012.

In Cincinnati, 36 year old second baseman Brandon Phillips is finishing up the last year of a contract extension signed in 2012.

The two, forever linked from a brawl in 2010, may very well end their careers at the same time. Who will be more valuable in that final year?

Since 1901, only seventeen catchers have made at least 502 plate appearances in their age 34 season. Their average line is .267/.327/.416.

Since 1901, only seventeen second baseman have made at least 502 plate appearances in their age 36 season. Their average line is .279/.352/.404.

What amazes me, beyond the similar slash lines (.743 OPS v. .756), is that in THE HISTORY of modern baseball, only 34 players have met my completely arbitrary criteria of what a healthy full time position player is. All contracts are judged with the caveat of "assuming health", but for the extensions of Yadier Molina and Brandon Phillips, it's very difficult to make that assumption for either.

GOD BLESS URKEL.

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