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The Uber of Baseball: The Rise of Young, Versatile Labor Is an Ominous Sign for Older Players

The gig economy has come to baseball, and it is not all good news for players.

Just ask D.J. LeMahieu, Jed Lowrie and just about all free agents, especially second basemen, who no longer are counted on to fill traditional, everyday jobs. Baseball players are learning the hard lesson many Americans have learned about a gig economy: pay goes down when the work becomes more flexible and less steady.

LeMahieu and Lowrie are former All-Star second basemen who signed with New York teams without a commitment to play second base every day. In this gig economy they and fellow second baseman Brian Dozier (who signed for just one year with the Nationals) are worth less guaranteed money than free agents Omar Infante or Luis Castillo not too long ago.