From 1998 to 2010, Beltre put up roughly 52 WAR. In his six seasons since then, he’s added another 38 WAR. Although he’s in his age-38 season, he was worth more than 6 WAR just last year, and projection systems like ZIPS and Steamer forecasted another 3 to 4 in 2017. (Beltre missed nearly two months to start the season with a calf injury, which is a real risk of age, but he’s been great since returning and should still reach those projections.) If Beltre sticks around another four seasons or so (through age 41), he should be able to creep his second-career WAR total into the mid-to-high 40s.
Compared with the present, professional baseball in the early 20th century was lower-scoring, and pitchers, including stars Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson , were more dominant. The " inside game ", which demanded that players "scratch for runs", was played much more aggressively than it is today: the brilliant and often violent Ty Cobb epitomized this style.  The so-called dead-ball era ended in the early 1920s with several changes in rule and circumstance that were advantageous to hitters. Strict new regulations governing the ball's size, shape and composition, along with a new rule officially banning the spitball and other pitches that depended on the ball being treated or roughed-up with foreign substances, followed the death of Ray Chapman after a pitch struck him in the head in August 1920. Coupled with superior materials available after World War I, this resulted in a ball that traveled farther when hit. The construction of additional seating to accommodate the rising popularity of the game often had the effect of reducing the distance to the outfield fences, making home runs more common.  The rise of the legendary player Babe Ruth , the first great power hitter of the new era, helped permanently alter the nature of the game. The club with which Ruth set most of his slugging records, the New York Yankees , built a reputation as the majors' premier team.  In the late 1920s and early 1930s, St. Louis Cardinals general manager Branch Rickey invested in several minor league clubs and developed the first modern " farm system ".  A new Negro National League was organized in 1933; four years later, it was joined by the Negro American League . The first elections to the National Baseball Hall of Fame took place in 1936. In 1939 Little League Baseball was founded in Pennsylvania. By the late 1940s, it was the organizing body for children's baseball leagues across the United States. 
Like other teams with financial flexibility, the Phillies might want to stay flexible in anticipation of 2018, when Bryce Harper , Machado, Donaldson, Craig Kimbrel , Andrew Miller , Charlie Blackmon , Adam Jones , Jose Quintana, . Pollock , Dallas Keuchel , Marwin Gonzalez , Brian Dozier , Daniel Murphy , Cody Allen and Andrew McCutchen hit the open market as part of a monster free-agent class. Things could get a lot more interesting if future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw exercises his opt-out clause and goes back on the market next winter at age 30. Why take the plunge on a big-ticket investment this winter when something even better might be just around the corner?