By Andrew Hendriks
Canadian Baseball Network
TORONTO - As part of their 2018 Opening Day ceremonies on March 29, the Toronto Blue Jays will formally retire Roy Halladay's No. 32 in advance of their 3:37 p.m. tilt vs. the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre.
Halladay, who retired in 2013, passed away at the age of 40 when his single-passenger airplane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico on November 7.
A first-round draft pick of the Blue Jays in 1995, Halladay is the franchise leader in winning percentage (.661), K/9 (6.57) and BB/9 (2.00). Having captured a Cy Young Award after going 22-7 with an ERA of 3.25 through 36 starts in 2003, the Colorado native was selected to six All-Star games during his tenure with Toronto, and led the American League in innings pitched on three separate occasions.
"Through Roy's values, pride, work ethic, and perseverance, he epitomized what it means to be a Blue Jay," team president Mark Shapiro said in a team-issued statement on Monday. "And while his legacy is clear, it goes far beyond the number on his back or his on-field accomplishments, serving as a shining example of how to live a meaningful life and positively impact others."
Halladay's No. 32 will represent only the second Blue Jays number retired by the team, joining Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar (No. 12) who received the honour in 2011.
Blue Jays sign Breslow
On Monday, the Blue Jays and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow came to terms on a minor league deal that comes with an invite to big league camp this spring.
Breslow, 37, joins Toronto having pitched to an ERA of 3.45 over 570 1/3 innings spread across parts of 12 seasons at the big league level.
In 2017, the 6-foot product of New Haven, Conn. posted a FIP of 4.69 with an inflated WHIP of 1.557 through 37 assignments split between Minnesota and Cleveland.
Although his recent performances have lacked the type of overall consistency that made him a lights-out option out of John Farrell's bullpen when the Red Sox were locking down their last World Series title in 2013, it's worth noting that his sinker remains tough on lefties and helped produce a .214 OBA against left-handed hitters last season.
As it stands today, Breslow should spend the spring competing with Tim Mayza and Matt Dermody for the second lefty spot in the Blue Jays bullpen alongside Aaron Loup.
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