Baseball’s answer to Father Time hopes to give the clock one more spin in reverse.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki is reporting that 48-year-old Jamie Moyer will be rehabbing from his recent Tommy John surgery in Clearwater at the Phillies’ facilities with the goal of being on a Major League roster next season. Moyer is a free agent and given the Phillies’ stellar rotation, there likely isn’t a place for him at Citizen’s Bank Park next season. He’ll be 49 next season, an age when most ballplayers are ten years into perfecting their golf games and not preparing for the rigors of yet another 162-game trip around the circuit.
So which teams could use a 49-year-old left-handed soft-tosser?
1. Chicago Cubs — In what would be a fitting conclusion to the narrative arc of Moyer’s career, the southpaw could return to Wrigley Field where it all began in 1986. No, really. To give you a frame of reference, Moyer’s career intersected with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the only active player who was playing when the movie was released. The cubs aren’t going anywhere next season regardless of who is at the helm and can use an extra dose of public relations help given the way this season has gone. Giving Moyer one last chance as a fifth starter couldn’t hurt given the team’s dearth of left-handed pitching prospects in the farm system. Even if the team were to contend next season, he could still be a consistent option at the back of the rotation. Which brings me to my next team…
2. Boston Red Sox — This team has been good really in spite of its rotation, which has featured John Lackey (5.98 ERA) and Tim Wakefield (5.10). Add in the fact that Moyer could team with Wakefield (46 next season) to form the oldest one two punch maybe in the history of the big leagues at a combined and you’ve got an intriguing fit. Moyer would give them a solid clubhouse presence while eating innings at the back end of the rotation. Plus, he spent the bulk of his career in the American League, is playoff tested, and posted an ERA of over 5.00 just five times in 24 seasons.
3. Baltimore Orioles — This one is really just pure speculation and probably the longest shot of the three given the youth movement currently afoot at Camden Yards. That said, the Orioles need to do something, literally anything to get fans through the turnstiles. Grantland.com’s Bill Simmons semi-jokingly suggested the team bring back Hank Aaron to see if he could hit enough home runs to break Barry Bonds’ all-time record. While Aaron’s 77-years-young and almost certainly not on board with this idea, it might make sense for the Orioles to give Moyer one more go-round just to see what he can do. He could provide valuable mentorship to up and comers like Jake Arrieta as well, serving as a sort of de facto player/assistant pitching coach in helping the organization groom its young players for future success.