As the Toronto Blue Jays’ season comes to an end, fans are coming to grips with the possibility that Friday night’s win against the Seattle Mariners could be Roy Halladay’s last start in the home uniform.
The 12-year veteran’s contract expires after the 2010 season, but Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi had been listening to trade offers through the first half of the campaign for Toronto’s ace.
And there is no indication Halladay is interested in resigning long-term with the club.
Halladay started for the American League in Major League Baseball’s all-star game in July and was a strong candidate to win the Cy Young award through the first half of the season.
But then a series of events led to his inconsistency on the mound, where he is now 15-10 with a 3.01 ERA.
From the season opener until June 12, he had an outstanding 10-1 record and an earned-run average of 2.53. Then he injured his groin, went on the 15-day DL and has not been the same since.
Jays fans started to worry once Halladay went winless in three games after coming off the injured reserve.
“Everybody expects Doc to be perfect all the time,” Gaston told MLB.com. “When he’s not, we always look at him and see if there’s something wrong with him.
“I just believe that he didn’t locate as well as he’d like to when he came back from that groin injury.”
For the entire month of July, Torontonians witnessed the Halladay trade saga and asked themselves “Will he stay or will he go?”
And as the July 31 deadline came closer, it seemed more like he would be traded to a World Series contender.
Ricciardi had no shortage of teams interested in the 6-foot-6 right-hander with Boston and Philadelphia offering deals.
Over his last seven games, he has gone 2-5 and through his final three games in August, he pitched in only 17 out of a possible 27 innings.
Those are not the numbers fans can expect from Halladay, who leads the Majors with seven complete games.
Halladay treated Toronto supporters to a one-hit performance on Sept. 4 when the Jays defeated the AL East-leading New York Yankees 6-0.
“If he moves on, we certainly hope he moves on out of this division and out of this league somewhere, so we don’t have to face him,” Gaston said.