Roy Halladay's shoulder and 2014

Roy Halladay has a $20-million vesting option for 2014 that depends on his innings pitched. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Besides three grounds crew members, Roy Halladay was the lone soul on the field at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday morning. He ran sprints on the warning track, which probably offered little solace for the weeks of rest ahead.

The Phillies finished exactly one-third of their 2012 season with a 5-4 loss to Miami on Saturday. In that first third of the season, Halladay made 11 starts and threw 72 1/3 innings. If he indeed misses eight weeks with a shoulder injury, that will cover the second third of the season.

So let's say Halladay makes 22 starts in 2012 — which could very well be an optimistic figure. Halladay averaged 7.45 innings per start in his first two seasons with the Phillies. He's at 6.58 in 2012. So he theoretically could finish between 150-170 innings pitched in 2012.

Why does any of this matter? Well, Halladay has a $20 million vesting option for 2014 that automatically activates under three conditions all being met:

1. He must throw at least 225 innings in 2013.

2. He must not be on the disabled list at the end of 2013.

3. He must throw at least 415 innings total between 2012 and 2013.

Reaching condition No. 3 will be extremely difficult if Halladay misses these eight weeks. If he achieves even 170 innings in 2012, that would still require 245 innings in 2013. Halladay has done that three times (2003, 2008, 2010). But he will be 36 next season.

Maybe the Phillies dodge a bullet; a $20 million investment in a 37-year-old pitcher could be risky. Or maybe this hurts later; Halladay becomes a free agent after a dynamite 2013 and looks for one more big deal the Phillies cannot offer. Or maybe it's not a big deal at all and both sides reach an amicable second agreement.

Either way, this injury could very well make Halladay a free agent one year sooner than expected.

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