The list of the 10 oldest baseball players starting out the 2016 season as part of the 40-man rosters includes six pitchers, two of them Cy Young winners (R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon) while on the hitters side of the room there are two former AL MVP winners (Alex Rodriguez and Ichiro Suzuki).
A.J. Pierzynski – 39
Born December 30, 1976, Pierzynski is with the Atlanta Braves for a second season, starting out his 19th season in the majors. He’s played for the Twins, Giants, White Sox, Red Sox, Rangers and Cardinals over his career, winning the World Series in 2005 with the Chi Sox, making the All-Star game twice and winning the Silver Slugger award in 2012. He should get to the 2000 career games played this season.
Jason Grilli – 39
Born November 11, 1976, Grilli is also a Braves player for a second straight season, playing almost exclusively as a reliever since beginning his major league career way back in 2000 with the Marlins. He’s played for the White Sox, Tigers, Rockies, Rangers, Pirates and Angels as well, doing a solid job but never truly standing out. He had a 2.94 ERA (career is 4.10) last season for the Braves, finishing with 24 saves, also posting one of his best seasons in terms of strikeouts per walks. He has one All-Star appearance.
Matt Thornton – 39
Born September 15, 1976, Thornton has been in the majors since 2004, playing for the Mariners, White Sox, Red Sox, Yankees and Nationals, joining the San Diego Padres for this season. An All-Star in 2010, he has a career ERA of 3.35 (2.18 last season in Washington). His strikeout rate keeps declining, falling to career low of 5 per nine innings last season.
Joel Peralta – 40
The right handed reliever was born on March 23, 1976. He’s been in the majors since 2005, playing for the Angels, Royals, Rockies, Nationals, Rays, Dodgers and this season he’s with the Mariners, signing a one-year deal worth $1.25 million.
David Ortiz – 40
Born on November 18, 1975, Ortiz has announced he’ll retire following the 2016 season. He’s been in the majors since 1997, playing for the Minnesota Twins through 2002 before joining the Boston Red Sox, going on to win three World Series titles. He’s a nine-time All-Star, six-time Silver Slugger award winner and a World Series MVP from 2013. With 504 career home runs, he’s 26th on the all-time list and is the all-time leader in MLB history for home runs, RBIs and hits as a DH.
Alex Rodriguez – 40
Rodriguez, born July 27, 1975, has been playing major league baseball since 1994 when his career began in Seattle, went through Texas and is probably going to end with the Yankees in New York. He’s a three-time MVP, two-time Gold Glove winner and 10-time Silver Slugger award winner, finally winning a World Series championship in 2009 with the Yankees. His 687 career home runs put him 4th on the all-time list.
Koji Uehara – 41
Uehara, born in Japan on April 3, 1975, has been in the majors since 2009, playing for the Orioles and Rangers before joining the Red Sox in 2013, winning a World Series and ALCS MVP with them in 2013. He made the All-Star game in 2014.He won the World Baseball Classic with Japan in 2006.
R.A. Dickey – 41
Something of a late bloomer, Dickey was born on October 29, 1974. After less than impressive times with the Rangers (began there in 2001), Mariners and Twins, things clicked for him playing for the New York Mets, including a Cy Young award in 2012, when he made his only All-Star game. That season landed him a four year deal worth $41 million with the Toronto Blue Jays despite his age, which runs out at the end of this season.
Ichiro Suzuki – 42
It’s still weird seeing Ichiro (born October 22, 1973) in uniform that’s not Seattle’s but that’s the business. He played for the Mariners from 2001 to 2012, making 10 consecutive All-Star games to start out his major league career. He won the MVP his rookie season, going with 10 Gold Glove awards and three Silver Slugger awards. He played for the New York Yankees until 2014 and has been with the Miami Marlins since last season, although seeing him hit just .229 (never batted below .300 until 2011) just seems wrong.
Bartolo Colon – 42
Born May 24, 1973, he’s the last active player who played for the Montreal Expos, Colon signed a one-year, $7.25 million with the New York Mets to carry his career onward for at least one more season. He’s been around since 1997, playing for the Indians, Expos, White Sox, Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, A’s and joined the Mets in 2014. He’s a Cy Young winner from 2005 and a three-time All-Star. He hasn’t slowed down in recent years, picking his career back up, averaging 195.7 innings per season since 2013.