As we take a look back at Roy Halladay's career, vivid things are remembered in our minds: Game 1 of the 2010 National League Division Series, May 29, 2010, his dominance with the Blue Jays...the list goes on and on. One of the greatest pitchers to ever take foot on the pitchers mound is retiring today, as Roy Halladay will be signing a one-day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. This will allow him to retire in uniform in Orlando.
Remembering Halladay is great for me. I remember the first time the Phillies were in the market for a starting pitcher before the 2009 season, and how they were looking at this guy named Roy Halladay, according to my "super fan grandpa." Instead, however, they had to settle on a consolation prize named Cliff Lee. I was okay with that, but I wasn't really sure exactly what Halladay would end up bringing to the Phillies. In 2010, Halladay was traded to Philly, and I was excited as could be. My grandpa told me how great this guy was, and how he could bring us back to the World Series for a third year. I knew enough then to never doubt my grandpa. He was right.
I remember May 29, 2010 vividly in my mind. I knew the Phillies were in a mid-season slump, and needed some morale boost. I decided to wear my Roy Halladay jersey that day. My family and I went into a store a few hours before the game, and one of the people who worked there said this, "You're a Phillies fan? Oh, Halladay, he's pretty good." I just smiled and said "yes I am" and that we needed some boosting coming into that night's game. Halladay seemed to answer my call, pitching out after out, dominating hitter after hitter. In about the fifth inning, I asked my parents if I could stay up until Halladay gave up a hit. It was a Saturday, so they agreed, and I was able to watch. From start to finish, I watched Roy Halladay deliver arguably the greatest performance of his career. I was in shock and super happy.
Later that season, the postseason to be exact, I heard about Halladay's mastery again. This time however, it occurred during the middle of one of my own baseball games. My mom told me to come over to her and handed me the phone (my dad was on the other line). He said that Halladay had just thrown the second no-hitter in postseason baseball history. I started jumping up and down, and remembered that I recorded the game on TV so that I'd be able to watch it when I got home. I became REALLY happy when I remembered that the game would be able to be watched whenever I wanted. I still have the recording of Halladay's no-hitter to this day.
As I remember Halladay as a whole, I remember his competitiveness, his demeanor, and his heart for the game for baseball. I absolutely loved watching Roy Halladay throw every pitch, and he was one of the main reasons that I wanted to be a pitcher for my Little League team. I wanted to do what Halladay did just because of the person he is.
In five years, when Halladay is up for induction to the Hall of Fame, I will be a huge supporter. He means a lot to me, and I loved watching him pitch over these past few years. I'll miss you, Roy Halladay.
The Houston Astros were the worst-team in the Major Leagues record-wise in 2013, but they have really used the beginning of this offseason to already give themselves a much better team in 2014. With a few more signings and transactions added with their young players could make the Astros a decent team in 2014; they could even have under 100 losses for the first time since 2010!
In 2014, we could see the Astros as a decent team. With a few more signings and trades, I wouldn't be surprised if the Astros reached 65+ wins. You shouldn't be too. The Astros have quietly improved themselves player-wise over these past few years, and this offseason, they're ready to improve on the field when the 2014 season rolls around.
With tomorrow's non-tender deadline looming, I believe that it can be somewhat confusing for fans to understand exactly what a "non-tender" is and how they are used in baseball. Just before the deadline occurs, you will know exactly what happens when your team non-tenders one of it's players.
Although players may not be a free agent this offseason, about 200 players are eligible for arbitration. This means that the player and it's agent have the ability to negotiate the player's future earnings for the next year of the player's contract, based on how well the player has played in the past. This ultimately means that the player is getting a raise (in some instances the player may actually lose money). If a player has played well in the past but not in their arbitration year, they will likely receive less in arbitration. For low-buget teams, this can be gold becuase they are saving money on players who have had a good track record. In that event, the team will likely tender that player, and negotiate that player's raise. If a team decides that a player had a good season, and will likely receive a larger raise, they may decide to non-tender that player. Although the player's contract is not up, they still will become a free agent. The player who was non-tendered can sign with anyone, even his former team.
For example, John Axford is due for arbitration this winter under his current contract. Axford, who went 7-7 with a 4.02 ERA in 2013 could be a tough decision on whether the Cardinals want to tender him. If the Cardinals believe Axford is worth too much based on his performance, they could decide to let him test free agency. Axford could still sign with the Cardinals, but it come come at a reduced rate. If the Cardinals believe Axford is worth what his contract says, they could tender him, and give him a raise for the next year of his contract.
Sometimes it isn't about the money. Teams often non-tender players plainly because they just do not have enough 40-man roster spots in the upcoming season, and won't be able to hold on to their player.
Tomorrow, we will see some new free agents, and teams who decide to keep their players through the remainder of their contracts. Keep your eyes and ears open, because you never know who could be hitting the market.