Just a quick note before I head out this morning that the MLB 2k9 patch is indeed available now. The big fix in this is the lack of big name free agents signing. I tried it out with some quick sims of both an existing franchise and a new one. My existing franchises did not appear to be affected (fixed), as the long lists of premier free agents stayed on the FA list for multiple seasons. In new franchises, however, the free agency issue does appear to be fixed. I did see Gary Sheffield go unsigned for a season and a half, sitting out all of 2010, but then signing on the dotted line midway through 2011. All in all, a good fix. Just make sure you apply the patch before starting a franchise.
An interesting postscript to the patch is that I am now able to load my locked up franchise. Hurray! Oh wait. It now freezes whenever I bring up the Schedule screen (for that franchise only). ARGH!
Also, because Bill has been all hot and bothered on retirement and aging models in The Show, I did a quick scan of the retirement lists in the seasons I simmed this morning. In general, career minor leaguers are retiring in their early 30s. Average major leaguers (guys with an overall rating in the mid 70s) are retiring in their mid to late 30s. And guys with 80+ overall ratings are retiring in their late 30s, early 40s. Guys who are absolutely premier players may hang out into their mid 40s. By and large, their ratings do appear to go down with old age. I haven't seen guys retire with an overall rating above 90. But remember, this may change with a longer season sim as the trend for the bulk of the players is for average ratings to up, up, up. So I think you're still going to see a bunch more 95+ rating guys the deeper you go into a franchise sim and how much they decline with old age I don't know.