2014 MLB Free Agent Profile: Roy Halladay

Patrick McDermott

Does signing a high-risk, high-reward pitcher like Roy Halladay make sense for the Mets?

Roy Halladay was drafted in the first round of the 1995 MLB Draft and rose to become one of the best prospects in the game. He peaked at #12 on BA’s top 100 prospect list and pitched well in the big leagues in 1998 and 1999 before posting a 10.64 ERA over 67.2 innings in 2000. He returned to the minors and rebuilt his entire approach.

When he returned to the majors in 2001, he pitched well, posting a 3.16 ERA and 2.34 FIP over 105 innings. He emerged as one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2002 and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2003. In 2004, Halladay struggled and spent significant time on the disabled list with shoulder problems. He returned to form in 2005 but missed the last half of the season after his leg was broken by a line drive off the bat of Kevin Mench. He finished among the top five in the AL Cy Young voting each of the next four years and was traded to the Phillies after 2009 in a deal that sent Travis d’Arnaud to the Blue Jays.

Halladay had two of his best seasons with the Phillies, winning the Cy Young Award in 2010 and finishing second in 2011. He pitched below his typical standards in 2012, however, posting a 4.49 ERA over 156.1 innings. This year made his struggles in 2012 seem minor. Halladay posted a 6.82 ERA over 62 innings. He went on the disabled list in the middle of the season and had shoulder surgery to remove a bone spur and fix fraying in his labrum and rotator cuff. His velocity fell about two miles per hour this season.

The cost

Halladay’s ultimate contract is difficult to determine because his health is unknown. It seems likely that any deal he receives will have significant incentives attached. Fangraphs’ Contract Crowdsourcing project has estimated that Halladay will receive a 2-year, $18.5 million contract. If his medicals concern teams, it seems unlikely he will get a contract with that much guaranteed money.

The fit

The Mets do have at least one open rotation spot, and if the they believe that he is physically capable of pitching next season, he may be a good fit. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has stated that he would "like to try to bring him back". Ultimately, it seems unlikely that Halladay will being wearing a Mets uniform next season.

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