Ryan Howard: Phillies’ $125M Deal With Howard Makes Lots of Cents

April 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Hours before the Philadelphia Phillies failed to make the necessary plays in a 5-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants, they made one huge play off the field.

The Phillies announced they had locked up slugger Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125 million contract extension that could keep the All-Star first baseman in Philadelphia through 2017.

The contract runs through 2016, with a club option for 2017 that could raise the value of the deal to $138 million.

The extension makes Howard, who will average $25 million per year, the second wealthiest player in baseball, just behind Yankee third baseman, Alex Rodriguez, who makes $27.5 million in a 10-year deal that runs through 2017.

Howard has been a model of consistency since becoming an everyday player in 2005. He has averaged 49 home runs and 143 RBI over the past four years.

As much as Howard has been a fan favorite, things have not gone as well on the contract front, until now.

In 2008, Howard made $10 million in arbitration when the Phillies were offering $7 million.

Howard avoided arbitration last year when he signed a three-year, $54 million contract extension.

It is clear that the Phillies and Howard, through his agent Casey Close, have remained in contract talks throughout the offseason, as quoted in the Philly.com .

“I knew I wanted to stay in Philly,” said Howard, whose new deal will begin in 2012, after his current 3-year extension expires. “I’ve grown so accustomed to the fans—it’s a special relationship with the fans—and just with what the organization has done. This is the organization that gave me an opportunity to make it in the big leagues, so for me, wanting to stay in Philly, that wasn’t a very hard decision.”

In economic terms, today’s dollar is more advantageous than tomorrow’s dollar. Howard would have cost more if both sides waited until the end of the 2011 season.

Also, according to baseball insider Jim Salisbury, sluggers Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez would become free agents after the 2011 season.

Now Pujols, Fielder and Gonzalez will base their salaries on Howard’s numbers, not the other way around. It would have been a crowded field of free agents in 2011 if the four sluggers were each seeking deep pocket suitors.

Howard’s signing could trigger more multi-year contracts among the remaining three.

Could you imagine: If Howard made $10 million in arbitration in 2008, what he would have made in the next two years?

It was smart to lock him up.

Howard’s two- to four-week stretch in the 2007 race for the NL East crown was incredible. Howard, like most power hitters, is streaky. He proved himself a leader again in the NLDS against Colorado.

His power numbers are not up yet, but he is hitting .265 with three home runs and 16 RBI.

He has shown up in camp the last two seasons in tremendous shape. I also notice him getting base hits to left field now, which in certain situations, will make the defensive power shift a deficiency.

Sign Howard, lock up Shane Victorino, lock up Roy Halladay until 2013, and trade Cliff Lee.

What about Jayson Werth, who had 36 home runs and 99 RBI last year?

That situation will work itself out, both sides have stated.

Who is in the core stock of players for the Phillies, and who is out?

For now, the Howard deal made a lot of sense.


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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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