Projecting the value of a player Manny’s age is somewhat difficult, because we don’t have a good sample for estimating age effects. Yes, many players have played past their 40th birthday, but many more players have hung up their spikes so that we can’t see how they would have played. And in most cases, many of those players were no longer capable of playing at the major-league level. I think the biggest danger to signing older players is that they are more likely to be permanently hobbled by an injury, and have no financial incentive to rehab the injury to get back on the field. But, I’ll take a stab at it using a continuous aging curve based on an increasing decline in performance.
For the next six years, I estimate Manny to be worth about $128 million, which is just over $21 million per year. I like Manny, and I enjoyed watching him play in person for the Triple-A Charlotte Knights. He is truly a gifted hitter who will go into the Hall of Fame, and I think he has plenty of good baseball left in him. However, I cannot see any team shelling out $150 million over the next six years. Even if he remains healthy, he’s not worth it. And, there is a decent chance that age force him to quit playing before the contract would be up. I think four years at $80 million is about the best deal he can hope for, and consider that to be just an educated guess.