By now you guys probably know that Roy Halladay has been dealt to the Phillies, and it is a sad day for any Blue Jay fan. Halladay has been by far the most consistent pitcher over the last decade, and fan favourite in Toronto, as he has been the face of the Jays for the last decade. Roy Halladay is easily one of the two greatest Blue Jay pitchers of all-time, and some may argue he is the greatest Blue Jay of all-time.
Although no one is sure what the Jays will recieve in return for Halladay, it is rumored that the Jays will recieve top Phillies pitching prospect, Kyle Drabek, Phillies catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud, and Oakland prospect, Brett Wallace. Although those are three top prospects, and will hopefully be great in the future, I am still hoping that Canadian pitching prospect Phillippe Aumont will be headed to Toronto.
But with this deal, the Jays are giving up on next season. Even with some great young bats on the roster; like Aaron Hill, Adam Lind, and Travis Snider, and even with a solid young pitching core, with McGowan, Marcum, and Litsch all returning to go with Romero, the Jays will be worst off without the Doc as the ace. The Jays are probabbly going to add a veteran pitcher to help the young pitching staff, someone like Bedard, but he will not be able to fill the shoes left by Halladay.
Last season Halladay went 17-10 and posting a 2.79 ERA, even with a weak second half of the season. The Jays on the other hand finished 75-87, as they posted a terrible record in the second half of the season, after leading the AL East for the majority of the first. Without Halladay the Jays will probably fall to last in the AL East, as they wont be able to make up ground on the Rays, Red Soxs, or Yankees, and I believe the young Baltimore Orioles will pass the Jays in the East, as they are a very talented up and coming team. The Jays will be no where near a playoff spot. Especially with the lost of Marco Scutaro too.
With the Jays being no where near the playoffs, the attendance will suffer. Last season the Jays were 22nd in average attendance, as the averaged 23,162 a game. But since the Roger Centre seats 55,000; 23,162 isn't that impressive as they ranked 29th out of 30 teams in percentage of their stadium filled, as the Roger Centre was only at 45.9% compacity. Now, you may think that was bad, wait until this season. The only reason the Jays average attendance was even at 23,162 was because of their hot start. When the Jays where first in the AL East to start the season, they averaged nearly 35,000 boasting the average way up, but once the Jays fell out of a playoff race the attendance dropped big time. In fact, near the end of the season the Blue Jay's home attendance broke record lows in Blue Jay history, they had record lows of 10,000 fans showing up to games. What also raised the Blue Jays average attendance was Roy Halladay. When Halladay took to the mound the attendance jumped by nearly 5,000 people a game! Without the Doc, nor the Jays being in a playoff race, expect the Jays average attendance to drop big time, maybe even to last in the league, behind the A's. A huge difference from when the Blue Jays use to be the hottest ticket in town, selling out every game from the 80's all the way until the mid 90's. There was 55,000 at every home Jay game.
The Toronto Blue Jays are currently worth $353 million, putting them 23rd in baseball. But the Blue Jays ranked 28th in baseball in profit. Last season the Jays made $3 million in total. This is a problem because the new owners, Rogers Communication is all about the money. When Ted Rogers owned the Blue Jays, he didn't care if he lost a few bucks, he just wanted a winner. But once he passed away and Rogers Communication took over, the Jays became nothing but a part of the corporation. All Rogers Communication wants is to make money, but with the attendance going to drop big time, the Blue Jays will probably lose money. This could be a scary site for any Blue Jay fan, because as the Roger Centre sites pratically empty when the Jays are playing, it will remind everyone across Canada of the Expos. I'm not saying that the Jays will move, but if they don't produce a winner, or a playoff contender within the next five years, fans wont show up during those five years and the Jays will be dangerously close to moving, just like the Expos did. It isn't hard to imagine the Jays not making the playoffs for five more years, as they haven't made it since they last won the World Series in '93, but if the Jays finish last in the East over the next few seasons, the Jays will be in trouble.
As for Halladay, I wish him all the best. I don't know a single Blue Jay fan that doesn't want to see him win. He has never pitched a single game in playoffs, but that will likely change, and every Jay fan wants him to win it all. Halladay will most likely dominate the NL, as he has pitched in the toughest division in baseball during his career, but now he moves to the weaker NL, and I believe will win a Cy Young, and will rack up 20+ wins. Halladay has been so consistent, and if anyone ever wins 300 games again, I would put my money on the Doc. All I have would have say to Halladay is "Thank You, and Good Luck."