Gentile: WAR after 35 years old

From SABR member James Gentile at Beyond the Box Score on March 4, 2013:

I’ve read a number of dissenting opinions in recent months on the Toronto Blue Jays daring offseason acquisition of Cy Young winner and best-selling author R.A. Dickey. A number of Dickey’s detractors have cited concerns over his age and his transition to a far more dangerous division and league. If Dickey does manage to perform well for the duration of his contract with Toronto, however, he is certain to pass some historical milemarkers for players reaching their potential in the back end of their careers.

For a period of seven years from 2001-2009 Dickey was worth just 0.2 Wins according to Baseball-Reference. Dickey continued to struggle even after switching over to the knuckleball for the 2006 season, but at age 35 everything suddenly clicked for the right-hander.

Since then, Dickey has amassed a hefty 12 WAR in just three seasons. As you would probably expect, it is exceptionally rare for a player to post more WAR after the age of 35 than before

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Originally published: March 5, 2013. Last Updated: March 5, 2013.