It comes as somewhat surprising news — even though it shouldn't — only because of his refusal to quit, but Roy Halladay will retire today, per multiple reports.
Halladay, 36, was expected to be seeking another contract in free agency but instead will hang it up after 16 seasons. He didn't quite leave at the top of his game but did avoid a Steve Carlton-esque departure by opting not to slog though a couple more years.
Doc will retire as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, as he should, by signing a one-day contract with the club. From 1998-09, Halladay was a six-time All-Star and 2003 Cy Young winner and started on seven straight Opening Days before being traded to the Phillies in 2009.
It was difficult watching him struggle down the stretch last season, fighting through multiple shoulder issues, as his fastball velocity decreased and walk rate increased. The pitcher who once owned the most pinpoint control in the bigs — and led the league with just 1.2 BB/9 from 2009-11 — passed out 5.2 free passes per nine last season.
Doc acccomplished an incredible amount in just four years (three if you don't want to count the last one) as a Phillie, winning the Cy Young in 2010, throwing a perfect game and a postseason no-hitter in the same year, finishing runner-up in the Cy Young the following season and falling short only in winning a World Series.
It's enough to make an argument for the Phillies to retire his number, even though four years is typically too short an amount of time for such an honor.
All that's left to discuss with Halladay is his legacy, which is huge. Overall an eight-time All-Star, he finished with two Cy Young awards, twice led the league in wins, four times led it in innings pitched and seven times in complete games.
His career record stands at 203-105, an incredible feat for a pitcher who pitched in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox (and Rays at the end) for 12 seasons on a club which never made the playoffs and had just four winning seasons in his last nine years there.
Imagine what he could have done on a winning club, or in the National League, where he pitched his best season at age 33 in 2010, finishing 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA.
Halladay should be without question a Hall of Famer. He was one of the game's most dominant pitchers — if not the most — for a 10-year span from 2002-2011. Retiring at an early age robbed him of those stat-padders, like a few more wins or strikeouts, that pitchers can pick up at the end of their careers that really don't mean much anyway.