Not often you hear about a player actually doing something they only intimate at when salary is being discussed. You will hear many times that money is not the number one item but in the end it usually it. Rarely do they put their mouth where the money is.
Well, Roy Halladay did that and more. In one of Joe Sheehan's better columns he correctly points out that the biggest story in the blockbuster four-team trade was not the trade itself but the contract extension that Halladay signed.
Halladay’s contract is so far removed from his market value that it looks like an error. Remember, he had to approve not only the contract, but the trade to the Phillies that precipitated it. He made the choice that he wanted to be with the Phillies so much—and wanted to be with them immediately so much—that it was worth it to him to leave $60 million, $80 million, maybe $100 million unclaimed. There is no way anyone could have predicted this even a few weeks ago. This is the kind of decision that a player gets to make for himself and his family. Halladay gets to play for a contender in 2010 and gets to do so with a team he wishes to play for, one that holds spring training near his Florida home, and he valued those things more than the marginal dollars foregone by not testing the market. I don’t judge him for it, but I do think we should all be stunned by how much money this man left on the table. There is no precedent for it in sports.
Joe might be accused of hyperbole by saying there is no precedent in sports; I expect someone will come up with a comparable, Ken Griffey's contract with the Reds comes to mind. Still this is an amazing development. Arguably the best pitcher in baseball only signed a three year extension. Anyway I will now use this contract the next time Dave and I have the Wolf discussion.