As I've mentioned before, all baseball fans, as they grow older, end up with Baseball Woodersonism: We keep getting older, but all those baseball players stay the same age.

Our annual list of the Five Stages of Baseball Woodersonism:

Youth. All baseball players are older than you. They are immortal.
Peerism. Rookies are your age; you watch up-and-coming prospects while you're busy gaining your freshman 15. You might have had a class with a couple of these guys.
Peak years. This is when you are the same age as the superstars, mid-to-late 20s, when players are at their absolute best and you begin to wonder, "Hey, I better start making some life decisions pretty soon. That woman I went to high school with, she's a big shot lawyer now, and I've been tending bar here for five years."
Established veteran. This is when the players who were rookies when you were in college start getting called "grizzled." (Lance Berkman, who had a fully grey beard and looked like your grandfather by the time he retired, is a year younger than me. The last few years of his career were … difficult for me.)
Retirement. Baseball players your age start to hang 'em up while you're still figuring out when to start tackling that student loan.
Manager. "Wait, how in the world is Dave Roberts -- that Dave Roberts? -- old enough to be a baseball manager? Oh, and you're telling me that Raul Mondesi's son is in the Majors now?"
Death. Don't worry, baseball players never die, and neither will you.

I've made my peace with this. Placido Polanco, a player born on the exact same day as me, Oct. 10, 1975, finally retired last August. There are currently four Major League Baseball players older than me. That number gets smaller every year. Eventually there will be none. I guess then I'll just have to break into the big leagues myself. 

Thus, it's time to do our annual look at the 10 oldest players in Major League Baseball. If you're younger than anyone on this list, well, there's still time: You're still old, but you can still see a couple of these players and pretend. 

We did this last year, so we must say goodbye to those top-10 guys who have left us in the past year.

5. Alex Rodriguez, N.Y. Yankees, birthdate: July 27, 1975. Yep, we said goodbye to A-Rod, earlier than even the Yankees thought. He did still play 65 games last year, and hit nine homers to finish his career with 696. You now have five years until his appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot forces you to stop paying attention to Hall of Fame discussions until he's off of it, one way or another.

6. Randy Choate, St. Louis Cardinals, birthdate: Sept. 5, 1975. Choate did not actually appear in the Majors last year: The Dodgers signed him to a Minor League deal in July and then released him in September. Here is a good joke, though:

7. David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox, birthdate: Nov. 18, 1975. He's not coming back. Stop asking him if he's coming back. Ortiz led the American League in slugging and OPS last year. That's quite a way to go out.

8. Joel Peralta, Seattle Mariners, birthdate: March 23, 1976. He briefly signed with the Cubs late in the year, but it didn't stick, and he announced his retirement in September.

9. Matt Thornton, Chicago White Sox, birthdate: Sept. 15, 1976. He announced his retirement in November, and one of the many great things about MLB Trade Rumors is that they always dedicate a full blog post to players when they announce their retirement

So, here are the 10 oldest players in baseball. Where do you stand on the list?

10. Joaquin Benoit, Philadelphia Phillies

Birthdate: July 26, 1977 (39)
Contract situation: Signed through 2017
First season: 2001

Career WAR (via FanGraphs): 12.1

What is it about closers that makes teams think they can always squeeze in one more year? The Phillies are gonna give it a shot with Benoit, who actually seems a little younger than this, doesn't he?

9. Ryan Vogelsong, Minnesota Twins

Birthdate: July 22, 1977 (39)
Contract situation: Signed to Minor League contract
First season: 2000

Career WAR (via FanGraphs): 6.1

Vogelsong didn't pitch in the Majors from 2007-10, which makes his resilience both more impressive and even less likely to last. He and the Twins seem like an inevitable match, though.

8. Carlos Beltran, Houston Astros

Birthdate: April 24, 1977 (39)
Contract situation: Signed through 2017
First season: 1998

Career WAR (via FanGraphs): 68.4

He's playing at a high level late enough in his career that even the skeptics are starting to come around on his Hall of Fame case. It'll be fun to watch him bounce baseballs off the Minute Maid Park walls like it's 2004 again, and this might be his last great chance to get that elusive championship. I bet he has the best year of anyone on this list too.

7. Fernando Rodney, Arizona Diamondbacks.

Birthdate: March 18, 1977 (39)
Contract situation: Signed through 2017
First season: 2002

Career WAR (via FanGraphs): 6.7

Yep, as long as there are still closers -- and there might not always be closers -- there will be a team who looks at Rodney, shrugs and says, "Eh, let's give him a month." The Diamondbacks are this year's entrant. They might be his last stop, but we've all said that before.

6. Jason Grilli, Toronto Blue Jays

Birthdate: Nov. 11, 1976 (40)
Contract situation: Signed through 2017
First season: 2000

Career WAR (via FanGraphs): 6.6

Grilli made his MLB debut in 2000, but he didn't pitch at all in 2002, '03 and '10. And now he's got a solid job in a contending team's bullpen. Always, always cheer for Jason Grilli.

5. Koji Uehara, Chicago Cubs

Birthdate: April 3, 1975 (41)
Contract situation: Signed through 2017
First season: 2009
WAR: 11.6

The Cubs signed him in December to a one-year deal, which means of course he's going to be amazing and maybe throw the last out of his second World Series.

4. Joe Nathan, Washington Nationals

Birthdate: Nov. 22, 1974 (42)
Contract situation: Signed to minor league contract
First season: 1999
WAR: 19.3

Yep, the Nats signed Nathan to a Minor League deal, and he'll be fighting for a job in Spring Training. He pitched 4 1/3 innings over seven games for the Cubs last year, finally "earning" himself a World Series ring. It's sort of amazing knowing he's still floating around, isn't it?

3. R.A. Dickey, Atlanta Braves

Birthdate: Oct. 29, 1974 (42)
Contract situation: Signed through 2017, with an $8 million club option for 2018
First season: 2001
WAR: 17.1

The most amusing part of Dickey's contract, of course, is that he isn't even the oldest starter on his own staff.

2. Ichiro Suzuki, Miami Marlins

Birthdate: Oct. 22, 1973 (43)
Contact situation: Signed through 2017, with a $2 million team option for 2018
First season: 2001

Career WAR: 58.2

Not only did the Marlins pick up his option this offseason, they added another one for next year. He played 143 games last year! 

1. Bartolo Colon, Atlanta Braves

Birthdate: May 24, 1973 (43)
Contract situation: Signed through 2016
First season: 1997
WAR: 51.0

It's not just a one-year deal … it's a $12.5 million one-year deal. He'll be 44 in May. Can he make it the five years it'll take to catch Jamie Moyer's mark of 49? Heck, at this point, why not? And no matter what, we'll always have this:


Email me at; follow me @williamfleitch; or just shout out your window real loud, I'll hear you. Point is, let's talk.