It’s nothing new even to the casual fan that complete games have taken a drastic dip in the last 15-20 years. But it just occurred to me that statistically, 2009 was a landmark year. With the retirement of Randy Johnson at the end of the year, we no longer will have an active pitcher who has at least 100 career complete games.
Johnson retired at the end of 2009 with 100 complete games on the nose. With his departure, Roy Halladay became the heir of the CG active leader throne. Even at that, Halladay has a ways to go. At this point in the season, Roy has 54 complete games in 13 seasons. If you look to the second man on that list, it’s Livan Hernandez with 48.
Certainly, by the end of 2010, we will end up with a active career leader in complete games under 100 games for the first time in major league history.
If you want a good visual on the decline of complete games through baseball history, Baseball Reference’s Progressive Leaders page might be of help.
There is another three way deal on the horizon, this one involving the Phillies, the Blue Jays, & the Mariners. Philadelphia would get righthanded ace Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays & pitching prospect Phillippe Aumont (plus another Seattle youngster, yet to be named) from the Mariners, Seattle gets Cliff Lee from the City of Brotherly Love, and Toronto picks up superstar phenom outfielder Michael Taylor, sky’s the limit starter Kyle Drabek (Son of Doug), and minor league catcher Travis d’Arnaud from the Phils. In a deal involving two former Cy Young Award winners switching uniforms, the third party player might end up being the big winner, that’s how good Michael Taylor might end up, he’s that good! Trader Billy Beane jumped into the frey to make it a four-way deal, sending 1B-3B Brett Wallace, a 2008 1st round pick out of ASU by the Cardinals who was traded to Oakland in the Matt Holliday trade, to Toronto for Michael Taylor. While Wallace has some serious power 20 or more homers in each of the last two seasons, he also swung & missed 106 times in the minors this past year. To me, the A’s look to be the big winner getting the highly skilled outfielder Taylor.
This three way deal was probably made possible when the Red Sox inked John Lackey away from the Angels. Once the Bronx Bombers knew Boston was no longer in the hunt to pickup either Halladay or Lee, the Pinstripers could relax and let the trade proceed without outside interference from NY.
In another move, not made by the Yankees, World Series MVP Hideki (Godzilla, but you can call me Shemp) Matsui headed west to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Orange County team needed to bring somebody on board after losing leadoff man Chone Figgins (now with the Mariners) & ace starter Lackey (over in Bean Town) already this offseason. Still I don’t know if it’s much of a consolation prize, seeing the Mariners added Figgins & Lee, while on this day the Halos, in effect, swapped Lackey for Matsui.