Three years ago Roy Halladay was arguably the best pitcher in the National League, going 19-6 with a 2.36 ERA while finishing runner-up in the Cy Young voting to Clayton Kershaw after winning the award the previous season.
And now, as Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly tweeted, Halladay is retiring at age 36 after struggling through back and shoulder problems all year on the way to a 6.82 ERA in 13 starts for the Phillies. In addition to the ugly ERA he also averaged just 88 miles per hour with his fastball and it was sad to watch Halladay try to gut his way through starts.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Halladay will sign a one-day contract with Toronto and retire as a Blue Jay. He was the Blue Jays’ first-round pick in 1995 and played in Toronto from 1998-2009 before being traded to Philadelphia.
Halladay ends his brilliant career with 203 wins, eight All-Star games, two Cy Young awards, a total of seven top-five Cy Young finishes, and a postseason no-hitter. The ground ball-getting, strike-throwing machine leads all active pitchers in Wins Above Replacement, winning percentage, and complete games.
MORE: Next stop for Halladay? Cooperstown
It’s gotten incredibly tough to predict the actual Hall of Fame voting at this point, but certainly from my point of view Halladay should be a no-brainer. Helluva career and a shame injuries robbed everyone of seeing a better final act, because Halladay was so much fun to watch.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.