The offseason started off with much talk about which promised veteran pitcher the Mets would bring in, however several recent comments made by Alderson and the Wilpons suggest that a starting pitcher is the least of their top priorities. Nonetheless, it is still a very essential aspect of how the eventual Opening Day roster will be shaped. There were early speculations surrounding Tim Lincecum (before he resigned with SF, of course), Ubaldo Jimenez, Dan Haren and even Ervin Santana. But what about Roy Halladay?
Coming off shoulder surgery, Halladay went 4-5 with an unappetizing 6.82 ERA and 36 walks in only 62 IP last year. While it was upsetting to watch an 8-time All Star and a 2-time Cy Young award winner throw a fastball in the 80s, his short 2013 performance renders rather insignificant when factoring in the benefits. With a repertoire of a distinct 2-seam sinking fastball, a wicked curve, a cut fastball and even recently-added split-change strikeout pitch still makes him a viable threat to any hitter.
Halladay’s ability to not only produce ground balls in tough spots but to strike out hitters as well will be essential to the Mets, who are looking for serviceable guy they can count on to almost guarantee the bullpen a good days rest; he has led the league in IP 4 times and CG 7 times. While these may be the taglines of Roy Halladay’s past, it is not to say that he can still pitch near the level he once could. After all, he is well-known for rendering complete focus on his starts and letting nothing divert him. Even if he does not have the ability he once used to, the veteran presence he brings to the clubhouse will be a spectacular help to the surplus of young pitching making their debuts in 2014.
A 14 year veteran, Halladay is clearly approaching the end of his career; which not only makes him a cheap option ($4-5M with incentives at the most), but he will most likely be seeking a one year deal, while other FA pitchers are looking for multiple years. Of course it is a risk to pursue a pitcher who recently had surgery, but who knows what a full offseason of rest and spring training will bring back? The potential of what he could bring far outweigh the cons of failure. His status of a hard working, reliable guy who can go deep into games and give you innings fits the bill for a team who are looking to temporarily replace an injured guy who used to do just that.