Players of the day: Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa
1382 career homeruns between them (counting postseason), both players are over 40 and didn't play a game last year.
Sosa doesn't have a lot to offer a major league team. He might be OK as a platoon DH against only left-handed pitching, but that is such a limited role that I doubt a team would have use for him, and there are plenty of players who can fill that role.
Bonds likely still has the ability to help a team, or at least did last year. But a one year layoff at his age, combined with hip surgery, makes him a real longshot. That doesn't even consider that he'll be facing perjury charges at some point.
But what the hey, let's see what projections for these two look like.
Barry Bonds still projects as one of the best hitters in the game. Due to age, CHONE doesn't think he'll hit for average anymore, but he still has enough power and walks that he'd be worth 9-11 million to a team as a DH if he was healthy enough to play, and a team was willing to break the collusion and give him a job.
Sammy Sosa, one the other hand, is done. Stick a fork in him. He was OK at age 38, playing in one of the better hitter's parks in the game. But being essentially a league average hitter as a DH is not a recipe for continued employment, you expect more from that from somebody who doesn't have to field. Two years of aging make it very unlikely that Sosa can play acceptable baseball again.
I'm not hesitant to project players who have missed a year, because when I've done it in the past my system has done so reliably. In January 2007, I had Sosa pegged as a 241/313/424 line. He then hit 252/311/468 - very close on the BA/OBP, and not a terrible projection for slugging.
But in these two cases it's academic, I don't expect either to play MLB in 2009.