10 Former All-Stars Who Are On Their Way Out of MLB

Many former All-Star participants are struggling to get going this year. Here are 10 of them whose careers are likely winding down.

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 26: Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers walks back to the dugout during a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on March 26, 2024 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Getty Images)

In Major League Baseball, it’s not uncommon for players to begin to see their numbers decline around the age of 34 or 35. Suddenly, those pitches don’t hit 99 mph anymore and those easy doubles begin to turn into long singles. Of course, there are always going to be exceptions to this. Jose Altuve, Charlie Morton, Salvador Perez and Justin Verlander are recent examples of All-Star-caliber players who age seemingly doesn’t affect as aggressively as others.

Last year, Jose Abreu, George Springer, Tyler Anderson and Anthony Rizzo topped the list of aging ex-stars who failed to get it going during the regular season.

Today, we’re going to look at 10 former All-Stars whose careers could be winding down. The only real criteria here is that they’re over the age of 34, had previously been selected to an All-Star Game, are on contracts that are expiring in the immediate future and are unlikely to receive another shot at a big league gig once their current deal is up.

These sound like some awfully specific “rules”, but there’s a surprisingly large amount of players this applies to.

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Funnily enough, they all happen to also be position players. Shoutout to Chris Sale, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo for holding it down on the mound.

Former All-Stars Whose Careers are Winding Down

Jose Abreu, HOU

25 G, 0 HR, 4 RBI, .111 AVG, -17 wRC+, -1.5 fWAR

Abreu, 37, has had what is likely the worst season in all of baseball. He has looked completely overmatched every single time he’s come to the plate. The 2020 AL MVP requested a brief stint in the minor leagues earlier this year in an effort to right himself. He’s 2-for-10 in three games since his return from a month-long stint in the minors. He is under contract for this year and next and will not be a free agent until the conclusion of the 2025 season, but it seems that retirement could be a possibility if he can’t turn it around.

Charlie Blackmon, COL

46 G, 2 HR, 24 RBI, .242 AVG, 82 wRC+, 0.1 fWAR

Blackmon has not quite been at Abreu-like level, but his production has certainly dipped. The four-time All-Star has been right around league-average for the past five years now, but this is the first time his OPS has sat in the .600s. A pending free agent who can’t play defense and whose offense is declining, Blackmon has the second-lowest wRC+ amongst active qualified players who are 34 or older.

Brandon Crawford, STL

11 G, 0 HR, 0 RBI, .097 AVG, -13 wRC+, -0.3 fWAR

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A second player with a negative wRC+ and we’re only three deep. Crawford, 37, has appeared in only 11 games for the Cardinals this year and has been dreadful whenever called upon. His role is that of a rarely-used bench piece who can mentor Masyn Winn, but if his production continues to be this poor, he’s not making it to the All-Star Break on this roster.

Adam Duvall, ATL

37 G, 5 HR, 13 RBI, .196 AVG, 89 wRC+, 0.3 fWAR

Duvall, an 11-year veteran, has been quite the streaky hitter over the past few years. He seems to alternate hot and cold seasons and he is currently mired in one that’s largely to be considered cold. The 35-year-old has seen his average and OPS dip far lower than you’d like to see and he’s been completely unplayable against right-handed pitching, which does not bode well for the direction his career is headed. Duvall had a tough time finding a big league deal this offseason, so it’s looking like next will offer even less opportunities.

Yasmani Grandal, PIT

17 G, 2 HR, 11 RBI, .207 AVG, 61 wRC+, 0.1 fWAR

Like Crawford, Grandal has been performing so poorly that his team is barely utilizing him. The veteran switch-hitter has gradually been declining in recent years but his offensive drop-off in 2024 is rather alarming. At 35-years old without a bat and below-average catching metrics, Grandal could easily be playing out the last contract he receives at the big league level.

Jason Heyward, LAD

14 G, 2 HR, 5 RBI, .225 AVG, 97 wRC+, 0.3 fWAR

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Heyward hasn’t played much this time around with the Dodgers, so strong days at the plate go a long way to boosting his stats. The 15-year vet went 2-for-2 with a triple and a home run on Wednesday, which heavily improved numbers that have needed a sign of life. The five-time Gold Glover was hitting just .184 prior to that game, so his future is pretty uncertain moving forward.

Whit Merrifield, PHI

30 G, 2 HR, 13 RBI, .184 AVG, 62 wRC+, -0.3 fWAR

When the Phillies brought in Merrifield to fill a utility spot in their lineup, this is not what they envisioned. He was an All-Star as recently as last season but he has not performed in any way to kick off 2024. He hasn’t hit and he’s got -2 OAA in left field and -1 at second base, proving that he’s not bringing much of anything to the table. Merrifield and his 62 wRC+ are second-lowest in the game amongst players with at least 100 plate appearances this season. There’s no shot the Phillies pick up that 2025 team option.

Carlos Santana, MIN

52 G, 7 HR, 22 RBI, .208 AVG, 89 wRC+, 0.2 fWAR

Santana has played more than anybody on this list, and he’s been “just okay” at the plate for sure, but at 38, it’s unclear how much more he’s got left in the tank. The veteran switch-hitter has seen his walk rate dip and his OPS as a whole has lowered significantly. If he can’t get on base the way he has throughout his career, there’s very little else that he offers a Twins team eyeing contention.

Chris Taylor, LAD

33 G, 0 HR, 8 RBI, .108 AVG, 12 wRC+, -0.8 fWAR

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Easily the most unproductive player on this list outside of Abreu, Taylor’s drop-off has been incredible – and not in a good way. He hasn’t been much of an offensive producer since his All-Star 2021 season, but his strikeout rate has climbed nearly 8% and he’s just not getting on base at all. Not to mention, he’s a super-utility player who has 0 OAA or lower at three different positions so far. He’s technically under contract until the conclusion of next year, but he may not make it that far.

Justin Turner, TOR

49 G, 4 HR, 20 RBI, .217 AVG, 91 wRC+, -0.3 fWAR

Don’t let some of the numbers fool you, Turner has been tough to watch for this year’s Blue Jays. He came out of the gate as one of the strongest hitters in all of baseball, but he’s come crashing down to earth. Over his last 20 games, Turner, the oldest position player in the game, is hitting .105 with an OPS of just .319. It’s been rough, and he is not likely to make it to the finish line with these Blue Jays.