Blog Entry

Phillies sign Howard to 5-year extension

Posted on: April 26, 2010 3:15 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2010 6:32 pm
The Phillies have Roy Halladay signed through 2013. They have Chase Utley signed through 2013.

And now they have Ryan Howard signed through 2016, after finalizing a five-year, $125 million contract extension today.

If you're going to start a baseball team, that's a pretty good place to start. They have the best starting pitcher in the game, a second baseman who is one of the four or five best overall players in the game, and a first baseman/cleanup hitter whose power matches up with anyone's.


Well, since the start of the 2006 season, Howard has 201 home runs. No one else in baseball has hit as many. No one else is really close.

Albert Pujols is second -- 29 home runs behind Howard.

Is Howard as good as Pujols? No, but that's not the point.

Put him together with Halladay and Utley, and you have the makings of a championship contender for years to come. Add in Jimmy Rollins, who for now is signed through 2011, and Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz and the rest of the Phillies, and you have a team that has been to the World Series the last two years, winning it once, and has done everything to make sure this group has more chances to get there -- and win -- in the future.

In the Phillies camp report this spring, the Phillies talked about that plan, and pitcher Cole Hamels said the Phillies wanted "to become that dynasty team that we could be destined to be."

Even at that point, the Phillies had every significant player but one (right fielder Jayson Werth) signed at least through the end of next season. But at that point, there was still a very real question of how long past that this group could stay together.

Howard was the biggest part of that question. His contract history with the Phillies wasn't smooth. After Howard won the Rookie of the Year Award in 2005, the Phillies renewed his contract for $355,000. Howard was the National League's Most Valuable Player in 2006, but the Phillies renewed him again for $900,000 that winter.

Howard took the Phillies to arbitration after the 2007 season, winning a $10 million contract for 2008. His current three-year, $54 million deal, signed in February 2009, bought out arbitration years, but not any free-agent years.

Until now, he hadn't committed to stay in Philadelphia any longer than baseball rules would have kept him there.

Now he's signed through 2016, with a 2017 option that could bring the total value of the deal to $138 million.

Howard was already making $19 million this year, and he was already signed for $20 million for 2011. The new contract keeps him at $20 million for two more years (he'll make $25 million for the three seasons after that), so it doesn't put a great strain on the Phillies' budget, or greatly affect their ability to keep the rest of the team together.

In any case, the Phillies are perfectly comfortable building their future around Halladay, Utley, Howard and Rollins. They like the group they have assembled around those four -- they gave three-year contracts to Victorino, Ruiz, Placido Polanco and Joe Blanton over the winter -- but the key has always been to keep those four. As good a player as Werth has become, the Phillies believe that if they can't get him signed, they can find a way to replace him.

Howard would have been much harder to replace. He has hit 45 or more home runs each of the last four seasons, with at least 136 RBIs each year, and power hitters like that just aren't available.

The Phillies like what they have. They want to keep this group together.

Signing Howard is another huge step towards making it happen.
Category: MLB

Since: Apr 26, 2010
Posted on: May 12, 2010 12:45 pm

Phillies sign Howard to 5-year extension

Well Said... and great logo!

Since: Sep 13, 2008
Posted on: May 2, 2010 3:47 pm

Phillies sign Howard to 5-year extension

Ive been hearing lots of comments on how Ryan Howards defense has improved and "Hes playin some great defense".....Im a Phils and Howard fan but lets get the facts straight.

Howards current fielding percentage is his lowest in 3 years AND hes already had 3 errors in 23 games....on pace to have MORE than both his last 2 seasons. He also needs to work on turning 2 many more times will he throw the ball away on an easy double play? 

He is a beast at the plate but lets not over rate his defense. 

Only time will tell if he was worth the contract - I hope it works out for the Phils and Howard.  

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: April 27, 2010 5:59 pm

Phillies sign Howard to 5-year extension


The Phillies have the money to spend because of players like Ryan Howard.  Because of players like Chase Utley.  Like Rollins, Werth, Victorino, Moyer, Werth...etc etc.  Do you see what I'm getting at?  The Phillies built this team to into the "empire" it is right now.  10 years ago, the opening day payroll of the Phillies was less than 30 million.  When they won the World Series, it was under 100 million.  The year before the World Series, it was something like 20% less than it was when they had simply won a division.  The franchise built the team, and are reaping the rewards of doing so, by being able to lock up these great players to contracts that will keep them here, and hopefully fund the future players that will continue the success.  If that happens is yet to be seen, and we won't see it until at least 3-4 when the core starts to change around Utley, Howard, Rollings, Halladay, etc etc.

The Phillies are a big market team, but they built the market.  By finally building a team that could contend, it's revenues jump.  People don't buy jerseys of mediocre players.  People don't come to meaningless games in baseball when the players aren't that worth it to watch.  That's just how baseball works.  Unfortunately, some teams can spend enough money to guarantee a lot of wins every year.  Some teams just need to get a bit lucky in the draft and the right FA acquisitions to earn that money.  It happened to the Phillies this decade.  Hopefully, the lessons they learned, will carry on.

Nothing lasts forever though, so do all you can to get the most out it.

Since: Nov 15, 2007
Posted on: April 27, 2010 12:33 pm

Phillies sign Howard to 5-year extension

Check your facts he doesn't hold the strikeout record. Plus his average isn't bad, around .270, averages 50 HRS, and not a season under 136 RBI's last 4 yrs. Sorry, I'll take him over Papi, Mike Lowell combo put together and I think the salaries about line up.

Since: Nov 5, 2007
Posted on: April 27, 2010 11:32 am

Phillies sign Howard to 5-year extension

I am a sox fan and I think Howard got exactly what he deserved..or at least what is deserved in the current baseball market. He puts butts in the seats and balls into the stands. He is not Albert Pujols but he does not need to be. He has a great team around him. I think this equates to Minny signing Joe Mauer. Great player staying with his team, hopefully for his career. I am not a Phillies fan but I am a BASEBALL fan. I am glad he did not sign with NYY or Boston. It cracks me up when all the haters talk trash on these boards. I don't bash the Empire for spending huge amounts of $$ on players, hopefully they will get another Kevin Brown or Carl Pavano. But until that time enjoy the championships. It makes me crazy that people say "They bought their championship". Like the Pittsburgh players play for free. Everyteam bought their championship. The Yankees just paid more. You want better players on YOUR team, complain to your greedy owners who pocket the shared revenue cash. Not only does NYY, Bos, Phil, LAA and NYM pay a lot for their players but we also pay a lot for your players. So think before you speak. Talk to your congress man about unemployed teachers don't preach to us. Of course we would want teachers and Doctors making millions of dollars, but that is not going to happen. We don't need to hear it here.

Since: Aug 4, 2009
Posted on: April 27, 2010 11:15 am

Phillies sign Howard to 5-year extension

The Brewers shot for the moon a couple years ago and came up woefully short.  I don't see Fielder lasting the year with The Crew, just plain economics.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: April 27, 2010 9:47 am

Phillies sign Howard to 5-year extension

Mark it down, with yesterday's extension of Howard this has pretty much guaranteed that Werth will not be back.  He will command at least 15 million per year and the Phils will not pay that.  Brown will come up next year and play right field.

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: April 27, 2010 8:05 am

Phillies sign Howard to 5-year extension

Your comments are completely out of context for this reason:  You are comparing the world of entertainment to the real world.  It's not just sports.  It's television, movies, you name it, any form of entertainment, big time performers make big time bucks.  Jim Carrey made $36 million dollars off of his last movie.  People want to be entertained.  Those rare people (athletes, movie stars, etc...) who are able to do the entertaining are going to make this money.  If the money wasn't going to the performers, the money would be going somewhere else , either in owners pockets, or movie producing companies pockets, or television networks.  But the money spent on entertainment in this country is phenomenal.  Americans want to be entertained, pure and simple and they are willing to pay for it.  If you really want to criticize anyone, criticize ourselves.  We can do anything we like with our "fun money."  Instead of using it to contribute to charities, we opt to use it to pay $50 per ticket to see a sporting event, broadway show, go out to the movies or whatever.  We are every bit as selfish as the performer.  In fact, it is WE who enable the performer.  If none of us went to go see the performance, the performer would not be making the money that they make. 

Since: Mar 7, 2009
Posted on: April 27, 2010 7:33 am

Phillies sign Howard to 5-year extension

Heard an interesting idea on the radio yesterday regarding Werth.  Sign him with a backloaded contract.  Give him just a few million the first year (while Raul is still here), and then spread the extra money out into the remaining years.  Since MLB contracts are guaranteed, he really should care about a low first year pay rate.  If the Phils are smart enough, and Werth is OK with doing it, the next problem in JRo.  The Phils are shedding a few 10's of millions after this and next season- Raul $9mil after next year, Moyer $? after this, and I'm sure some others go, too. Let's see if Ruben can pull off some more good moves, and if the ownership is willing to pay.  They're at a position where they could lock up 4-6 years of great players

Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: April 27, 2010 3:11 am

Phillies sign Howard to 5-year extension

Get everyone to stop paying lots and lots of money to see them play and to have a beer and eat a hot dog and oh yeah pay to park then see how much players get paid.  If no one goes to the games the players won't be paid until then let them get all they can and hope they give some back.

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