Pitching in his first major league game since the spring, 'Doc' offered an encouraging glimpse of the future. As to whether any efforts will enable him to remain in red pinstripes is the question of the day.
The right-hander's current employer needs to decide whether they want him to stay, for how long, under what price and for how many seasons. If Kyle Kendrick isn't retained, or the team plans to deal Cliff Lee, then Halladay's continued presence will likely be valued.
The 36-year-old continues to work his way through the final guaranteed year of his contract. He won't reach his vesting option for next season. So, the starts that he'll make through the end of September will serve as an audition for a new deal.
Halladay agreed to a contract extension (2011-2013) with Philadelphia in the past because he believed the team had a strong chance to compete for a World Series. Clearly the club never got close to that goal. So, does the 16-year veteran actually think that they can win it all within the next year, or two?
Another factor that's in play involves pitching coach Rich Dubee. While playoff contention and money matters are major considerations, so too is his mound mentor.
Ryne Sandberg likely will have the interim tag lifted from his managerial position and may opt to promote Rod Nichols from bullpen coach to pitching coach. Ruben Amaro, Jr. might also allow his skipper to go outside the organization to fill that post.
With a variety of factors in play a decision of this magnitude isn't easy and won't be taken lightly by either side. Of course, there's always a chance that he could be dealt before the waiver deadline on August 31 as well.