The guaranteed portion of Roy Halladay's three-year contract with the Phillies expires after 2013, when an option triggers if he gets to 415 combined innings between 2012 and 2013. Since that would require him to pitch 258.2 innings this season, it's a near impossibility. But Halladay wants to stay with the Phillies regardless.
“If I had my druthers I would be here until I’m done,” Halladay said after Wednesday's first workout, according to CSNPhilly.com. “As good as [the Phillies have] been to me, I think they realize I’d be as good to them as I could be. Going forward, I really don’t see myself playing anywhere else. And I don’t want to play anywhere else.”
The phrase hometown discount comes to mind. Halladay will be 36 in May, but barring a disastrous 2013 season he'll be in line to find an AAV of at least $13-15 million. It's just how the game works these days. Dan Haren had a 4.33 ERA last season, has hip and back issues and much less of a track record than Doc, and he got close to $15 million from the Nationals.
Halladay said Wednesday that he feels as good right now as he's felt in any spring training in his storied 15-year career. The shoulder tightness is no more, and the comfort level seems to be back. All the focus last spring on his velocity? Halladay isn't as concerned as everyone else.
“Velocity is not as important to me as feeling good,” he said. “When you feel comfortable you have an easier time putting the ball where you want it. I felt like there were a lot of times last year when I was struggling physically and mechanically to get the ball to the parts of the plate where I wanted it. The velocity I think is always an added bonus. I don’t know where it is or where it will be, but if I feel the way I do right now,where if I physically can get the ball where I want to get it to and not have to try to do anything different, then I’m a lot better off.”
Cruz leaves Phillies
Juan Cruz is gone. He became dissatisfied with his role when the Phillies signed Chad Durbin and sought a better opportunity elsewhere, according to a Jim Salisbury report. He never officially signed a contract, but instead a letter of agreement which allowed him to flee without penalty.
It's not much of a loss. Assuming Jeremy Horst makes the team, the Phils have about seven or eight young relievers battling for two bullpen spots. Cruz has a 4.05 ERA in 12 seasons, with more strikeouts than innings but far too many walks (4.8 per nine).
Stutes is back
Michael Stutes feels stronger than ever in his shoulder and back after a shoulder procedure ended his 2012 season after just six games. He is one of those relievers competing for a spot, but his strong 2011 (3.63 ERA, 8.4 K/9 in 62 innings) doesn't give him any sort of inside track.