Manfred: Non-stars less valuable in analytics age

5:56 PM ET

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Good but unexceptional veterans must realize teams find them less valuable in the age of analytics, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred maintained ahead of season openers.

Players have expressed anger following the second straight slow free-agent market, one that saw record deals for top stars and plummeting prices for many journeymen.

“Obviously, what the clubs are saying, the Bryce Harpers, the Mike Trouts, these free agents, Manny Machado, they have tremendous value,” Manfred said Wednesday.

Then he cited the example of a 33-year-old player with 1.0 WAR (wins above replacement) last season.

“That price has been disappointing for some players, but that’s the market,” Manfred said. “What we’ve said to the players is, ‘Look, if that’s your issue, you’ve got to tell us.’ That’s a distribution issue. That means some guys are getting too much. Some guys are getting too little. We’re largely agnostic on that one.”

Manfred was interviewed by New York Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay during a breakfast at The Paley Center for Media. Manfred said front offices have transformed since the days when general managers made decisions based on numbers in the Baseball Register.

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