This Week in Baseball

I’d already been considering doing one of these for the week. After all it’s been a busy week following the Astros victory parade but I figured with the unfortunate death of Roy Halladay, the time was right to throw one together. So let’s start with Doc.

Roy Halladay was not a flashy pitcher by any means (career K/9 was 6.93) and the start of his career was inconspicuous at best. From 1998-2000 in Toronto his big league career started off in a mediocre fashion. In 2001 he began to establish the form that many batters would come to fear over the next 12 seasons. 2002 was his first full season in the big leagues and established him as a force to be reckoned with. In 2003 he won his first Cy Young award, torturing the American League with his combination of a devastating sinker and deceptive cutter. After a December 2009 trade to Philadelphia, he continued his dominance in the National League, winning the 2010 Cy Young award there, and making his very first playoff start in grand fashion, with a complete game no-hitter vs the Cincinnati Reds.

From 2002 through 2011, Halladay had 8 season of 200+ innings pitched, going 170-75 in that ten year span with a 2.97 ERA and 1,699 K’s in 2,194.2 innings (plus the aforementioned two Cy Youngs). He made 8 All-Star appearances, lead his league in wins 2 times, in innings pitched 4 times, and in complete games 7 times. He was the very definition of a workhorse in an era where that sort of pitcher was a rarity. Starting in 2012 he began to suffer from shoulder problems which very quickly resulted in his retirement following the 2013 season at 36 years old. His career numbers may not be to the standards of some baseball hall of fame voters (though he’s yet to appear on a ballot so they may prove me wrong but the totals aren’t at the level they typically go for) but he probably belongs.

He was also from all accounts very charitable in his off-field endeavors, he was nominated for the MLB’s Roberto Clemente award on multiple occasions. You can read about what he did while in Toronto here: The world is slightly worse off without Roy Halladay in it. RIP Doc.

Elsewhere in MLB…

• Nine players received qualifying offers by the 5 PM deadline on Monday. Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, and Eric Hosmer (all of the Royals), Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis (both of Cubs), Alex Cobb (Rays), Carlos Santana (Indians), Greg Holland (Rockies) and Lance Lynn (Cardinals). How does a qualifying offer work? It’s easier for me to link to MLBTR’s breakdown of it rather than try to summarize: (though their estimate of $18-$18.1 million as the salary was a bit high as it has been announced at $17.4 million) Among some of the players that didn’t receive QO’s that were being rumored, Zack Cozart of the Reds, Logan Morrison of the Rays, Andrew Cashner of the Rangers were all considered possible recipients but will hit free agency with no compensation packages attached to them.

• A variety of players had their contract options exercised (or in some cases exercised their player options). Masahiro Tanaka (somewhat surprisingly) opted into the final few seasons of his contract with the Yankees. It looked questionable given his strong finish to the regular season and excellent playoff performance. Ian Kennedy was mediocre in his first year with Kansas City so him opting into the remainder of his contract was not so surprising. Ditto for Matt Wieters of the Nationals opting into the second season of his contract. Meanwhile the majority of options exercised were not shocking. Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Moore, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Altuve, and Jed Lowrie will all be retained by their teams.

That’s all I really have I think. There’s an exciting off-season ahead with players like Yu Darvish and JD Martinez hitting free agency and Japanese two-way phenom Shohei Otani potentially coming to Major League Baseball. Not to mention the variety of other important off-season events. The Gold Glove award winners were announced tonight and you can see them here: And over the next 8 days; Silver Sluggers, MVP, Rookies of the Year, Cy Young, and Manager of the Year awards will all be announced as well. What’s on your mind as baseball’s off-season begins?