It’s that time in spring training when teams start looking at their 25-man roster and current injuries and wonder if it’s worth it to make a play at a 30-something-year-old free agent. Garrett Anderson was one of those free agents until the 37-year-old outfielder signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers last week. Anderson was not exactly effective last season with the Braves (.268/.303/.401) with 13 home runs in 135 games. It remains to be seen if Anderson will cash in on the minor league deal and make the Dodgers as a left-handed bat coming off the bench.

Similar to Anderson, there are about a dozen of older, big name free agents still for sale on the market. The question is—are these guys worth the risk and can they still produce even in the late stage of their career? The Braves were obviously looking for more from Anderson last year, and he failed to deliver. Let’s take a look at some of the notable free agents remaining in no particular order:

Carlos Delgado
Jermaine Dye
Jason Isringhausen
Joe Crede
Pedro Martinez
Gary Sheffield
Rich Aurilia
Jarrod Washburn
Dmitri Young
Mike Hampton
Braden Looper

The name that jumps out to me on this list is Dye. I’m not sure why the 37-year-old slugger remains jobless on March 19. I realize that over the past couple years MLB teams are reluctant to sign older players, but Dye has done nothing to prove he can’t produce at his age. Last year with the White Sox, he hit 27 homers and while his average dipped to .250, he still managed to walk enough for a .340 on-base percentage in 141 games. One place Dye could end up is Washington where the Nationals are suddenly in need of a starting outfielder after releasing Elijah Dukes earlier this week. I would be shocked if Dye didn’t find a team before Opening Day.

Pedro also remains unsigned after pitching well for the Phillies (5-1, 3.63) after signing a second half deal with the National League champs, but he could likely be waiting for that midseason call again from a contender. On the other hand, Delgado and Sheffield may be staring retirement in the face. Both sluggers’ game has declined especially last season due to injuries, and Delgado has already publicly said he would retire if he did not find a team in 2010.

Crede’s rough luck continued in 2009 as his season was cut short due to an injury again. He remains unemployed, but if he’s healthy some team will take a flier. I also predict Washburn and Looper will definitely find work, but it may be tough for the rest.

The game has already lost some good players to retirement at some point this offseason: Randy Johnson, Doug Brocail, Aaron Boone, Nomar Garciaparra, Mark Loretta, Brian Giles, Darin Erstad, Troy Percival, Jason Schmidt, Scott Eyre and Greg Norton. And you know what, I’m also going to add John Smoltz and Rocco Baldelli to the list. Both players have taken jobs off the field with Smoltz as an analyst for TBS and MLB Network and Baldelli as a “special assistant” to the Rays front office. I really don’t see a team picking up either of these players after they take some time off. Baldelli is still under 30, but everyone knows about his injury-riddled career that never amounted to the potential that seemed to always follow him.

It just seems to gets harder for these older players to find jobs in today’s game. There are exceptions to the rule as Ken Griffey Jr. continues to hack away in his second stint in Seattle despite hitting just .214 last year. Recently, we’ve seen teams trying to get younger every year, and the risk of picking up a 38-year-old bat or arm becomes too great for some teams to take.

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