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The Risk of Roy Halladay

Nov 30, 2009, 8:00 AM EDT

WEEI’s Alex Speier breaks down Roy Halladay’s recent workload in light of his age and asks whether teams considering trading for the guy are taking on more risk than they think:

While Halladay’s performance over the last 10 seasons has been little
short of remarkable, that is no guarantee of what he might contribute
over the next four or five years. Though Halladay has been a pitcher of
incredible durability, he is also reaching a point in his career that
suggests a decreased ability to handle such a workload.
And that, in turn, suggests that a team’s decision about whether to
drain both its prospect pool and its financial resources to acquire
Halladay from Toronto is an immensely complex one.

The, risk, Speier says, stems from the fact that the vast majority of pitchers who have thrown over 800 innings in a four-year span have been younger guys, and that only 25 guys between the ages of 33 and 36 — the range Halladay is entering — have done so over the past 30 years.  Halladay threw 930 innings over the past four years. Does he have that kind of juice left in his arm going forward? Because really, he’ll have to in order for any team acquiring him to come out ahead on the deal.

Obviously the teams pursuing Halladay are aware of all of this. To the extent they’ve discounted the risk, they’ve likely done it based on some combination of (a) the fact that Halladay has been outstandingly durable until now, so there’s no reason to think he won’t be going forward; and (b) if the stats are right and there’s roughly one guy in baseball at any given time who can throw 880+ innings through his mid 30s, it’s Halladay, right?

Sure, Halladay presents a risk, but so does everyone else. In the grand scheme of things, I’d rather risk my future on his arm than I would on, say, Joba Chamberlain’s or Clay Buchholz’s.

Wouldn’t you?

  1. Paul McC - Nov 30, 2009 at 8:37 AM

    Good luck to you at the new gig!
    Hope you never have to go back to the old law books – now – when can we expect the first Hitch Hiker’s reference!

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Nov 30, 2009 at 8:51 AM

    Thanks, Paul.
    As for the Hitchiker’s references: all in good time, my good man, all in good time.

  3. YankeesfanLen - Nov 30, 2009 at 9:20 AM

    Nice to see you over here, Craig, however unfortunate it is that you have to do baseball instead of golf today. And you saved the titillation until post #3.
    Anyway, the Halladay speculation will continue, and if the Universe wants to trade the latest version of “The Fat Toad” for him, you’ll hear no complaints from me.

  4. Old Gator - Nov 30, 2009 at 9:52 AM

    Last bad deal in the country, sweet Susie, last bad deal in the town.
    It seems to me that what you are trying to say, Craig, is that baseball is no country for old men, but that Halladay still has a cattlegun for an arm.

  5. Simon DelMonte - Nov 30, 2009 at 10:45 AM

    It’s the same old concern: do you sign a great pitcher to a long contract, knowing you might end up eating two or three years of salary at the tail end but also knowing that you might win two or three titles along the way. Whether Joba or Clay become as good as Halladay is almost besides the point. (Never mind that I can see Joba developing into a great starter away from the NY spotlight and coming back as a free agent.)

  6. LayerCake - Nov 30, 2009 at 12:49 PM

    AHH, Yes, Halladay… I x-pect Boston to do it’s utmost to get the man, altho I x-pected the same late in the recent season & it quite obviously didn’t happen… At that time & still, I believe he is an absolute must have for the RSox, tho I can’t quite pinpoint x-actly why… As did Beckett, & DK at the time, Halla just seems to strike me as a sure-fire RSox to-be, and I’d bet, a fine acquisition after-that-fact.. So, of course, time will tell.
    In the meantime CC,
    any knowledge of / thoughts on Cuban-born Aroldis Chapman? bc, just as those aforementioned above appeared to be so blatantly bound for Boston, [and all, for the most part], ultimate picture perfect fits that organization, the young Aero Chapman looks like a crystal clear, tru-blu future NYYankee… Note: Just for the record, in my modest opinion, [one of many millions, I kno], with respect to both primaries here, I suspect Chapman will be the best of the two – At that [reported//alleged] age, touting the stuff this guy is to-date reported to have, it should suffice to say, ‘WoW.!!. This young cat could prove to be the choice of this upcoming century… & sick of the same speculation about Halla., & Holli., Bay, & Bla, Bla, Bla…
    CC, Aroldis Chapman??,
    plse advse, if poss…
    TY –

  7. Steve C - Nov 30, 2009 at 1:44 PM

    This is just one of the Red Sox many mouth pieces reducing the perception of Halladay. This serves two purposes, it tells the Jays what the Red Sox are thinking; hopefully reducing his cost. Secondly it reduces the fans opinion of how good Halladay is, making the loss a little bit more palatable by the fans.

  8. themarksmith - Nov 30, 2009 at 5:22 PM

    I’d rather trade for Gonzalez or Cabrera if I’m going to trade those guys. Then, I’ll buy Halladay, Webb, Beckett, Lee, and whatever other pitchers will be out there next off-season. Gonzalez and Cabrera are probably surer things than Halladay.

  9. Izola Samela - Jan 17, 2010 at 4:10 AM

    This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

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