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Monday, April 26, 2010

Ryan Howard Signs Five-Year Extension With Phillies

First baseman Ryan Howard has signed a five-year contract extension with a sixth-year club option with the Phillies that could take him through the 2017 season, the Phillies announced.

The deal guarantees Howard $125 million over five years and could reach $138 million over six years.

The five-year extension will pay Howard $20 million in each of the 2012 and 2013 seasons and $25 million per year from 2014-16. The club option is worth $23 million with a $10 million buyout. The extension includes awards bonuses and a limited no-trade provision.

Adam B. Posted: April 26, 2010 at 06:49 PM | 206 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies

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   1. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 26, 2010 at 06:58 PM (#3514532)
That is a lot of cash for Howard's age 34-36 seasons. I'm not wild about that.
   2. Eric P. Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:00 PM (#3514536)
Howard's definitely shown a commitment to improving his conditioning the past two years but still, yikes. This is too much money or at least too many years.
   3. akrasian Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:01 PM (#3514537)
It's okay. He eats at Subway, so he'll stay in shape.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:01 PM (#3514538)
Phils have a lot of guys signed long-term. I would worry that might reduce their financial flexibility for the future. I know ticket sales are up and financial times look good in Philly, but that can change pretty quickly.
   5. Darren Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:01 PM (#3514540)
How much would Cliff Lee have cost?
   6. Adam B. Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:01 PM (#3514541)
But for his sustained weight loss, I wouldn't have considered an extension at all. Still, he's a model teammate and ambassador, and he smacks the #### out of the ball every year. After the post-2010 free agency frenzy in 2010, who'd be coming up post-2011 anyway?
   7. billyshears Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:02 PM (#3514542)
Um, wow.
   8. Adam B. Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:02 PM (#3514543)
Cot's Phillies Contracts. Halladay, Utley, Polanco all there through 2013.
   9. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:03 PM (#3514544)
That is a lot of cash for Howard's age 34-36 seasons. I'm not wild about that.

That has the potential to be Vernon Wells/Alfonso Soriano bad. There's no way I'd pay Ryan Howard that amount of money.
   10. alkeiper Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:03 PM (#3514546)
I'm not crazy about the length. But Howard revitalized the Phillies to an extent I never imagined possible five years ago. I think he's worth the money. The only problem is if his production falls to the point where he doesn't deserve to be in the lineup.
   11. AndrewJ Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:05 PM (#3514548)
Mike Schmidt's club-record 548 career home runs is now in jeopardy.
   12. hokieneer Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:05 PM (#3514549)
Sorry Phillie fans.

All these years of just paying his arb contracts, I thought the front office was smart enough to avoid a long-term deal. I guess they were just waiting for him to get even older before they overpaid.
   13. Sean Forman Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:05 PM (#3514550)
Wow, put me down as thinking this could be a franchise crippling deal. It's not my money, but why not take two more years of production (through age 31), let him walk and move Utley to 1B.
   14. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:06 PM (#3514552)
and his strikeouts are creeping back up to norm - damn
   15. McCoy Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:08 PM (#3514554)
Ryan is good but let's not get crazy here he didn't revitalize the Phillies. The Phillies had good players and good teams since the turn of the century and Ryan is simply another player in that chain and they did have Thome before him playing his position and who would have been just as good or almost as good as Howard and it wasn't like Thome was hated in Philly.

This is almost like Bernie Williams part deux only Bernie played CF and was slightly younger.
   16. DL from MN Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:11 PM (#3514558)
Makes Joe Mauer's deal look like a bargain
   17. WallyBackmanFan Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:12 PM (#3514564)
I'm not crazy about the length. But Howard revitalized the Phillies to an extent I never imagined possible five years ago. I think he's worth the money. The only problem is if his production falls to the point where he doesn't deserve to be in the lineup.


I just substituted "Ortiz" for "Howard" and "Red Sox" for "Phillies" and had a good chuckle.
   18. Textbook Editor Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:12 PM (#3514565)
This could be a stupendously bad contract. I wouldn't be happy if I were a Phillies fan.
   19. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:13 PM (#3514567)
I'm floored, yet just yesterday I was thinking that the Phils might extend him if they were getting nowhere with Werth.

The money/length is staggering. But it does look like Howard is committed to his conditioning and he is more athletic than many of the big slugger ilk. He has worked hard on his defense and has looked like a Vezina Trophy winner with his glove hand so far this year. (He still throws like he was raised in Europe though).

Maybe the Phils are making a whole lot more money than we thought and they really traded Lee to boost the farm system?????
   20. Sean Forman Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:13 PM (#3514570)
I'm not crazy about the length. But Howard revitalized the Phillies to an extent I never imagined possible five years ago. I think he's worth the money. The only problem is if his production falls to the point where he doesn't deserve to be in the lineup.


Good franchises pay for what a player will do, not what they've done. Howard is going to be a huge drain on the team at first base for 2-3 years. I will be shocked if this turns out well.

He's already way overrated as it is
He doesn't walk a whole lot.
He's a .266/.347/.552/.899 hitter in his last 1,500 PA's.
He gets tons of RBI's because he has OBP machines ahead of him in the lineup (and he doesn't walk a lot).
He is at best average defensively.
His position is the easiest to replace.

It's sort of funny that the team was pretty ruthless dumping Thome, but not with Howard.
   21. TDF, situational idiot Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:14 PM (#3514571)
Dear Ruben Amaro:

Thanks!

Love,
Dan Lozano & Jeff Borris
   22. Jack Keefe Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:15 PM (#3514573)
The Phillies had good players and good teams since the turn of the century and Ryan is simply another player in that chain and they did have Thome before him playing his position and who would have been just as good or almost as good as Howard and it wasn't like Thome was hated in Philly

Hey McCoy the way to write a good sentence is to once in a while put in some puncutation like maybe, a comma or you could use a – dash or perhaps a semicolonic or; just maybe some things that perduce a gramatical clause. Just keep reading my posts and you will be able to write with Stile and you will not have to look up any words in your Funking Wagnalls.
   23. Accent Shallow Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:16 PM (#3514575)
move Utley to 1B.

This seems to be an idea that's common among Phillie fans. Is Utley not the defender UZR says he is (wouldn't surprise me), or is this a move to preserve his health?
   24. McCoy Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:17 PM (#3514577)
in my book "and" counts as punctuation.
   25. Raskolnikov Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:18 PM (#3514580)
That's crazy. But hey, if Amaro has the budget for it...
   26. Sean Forman Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:18 PM (#3514581)
This seems to be an idea that's common among Phillie fans. Is Utley not the defender UZR says he is (wouldn't surprise me), or is this a move to preserve his health?


I think the assumption is that eventually he'll need to move off 2B due to health.
   27. zachtoma Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:18 PM (#3514582)
Wow, seems like way too much money. I'm less worried about the Phillies, but more for what this deal will do to the market for the many players who are demonstrably superior hitters to Howard - does this raise the floor for superstar-level contracts? It has to, right?
   28. TDF, situational idiot Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:18 PM (#3514584)
Dear Ruben Amaro:

You ******* *******. What the **** are you thinking? What the **** am I supposed give pay Pujols, ******* gold bricks? Half the ******* franchise?

******* moron. Die an ugly death. I won't be happy until I see vultures pecking your eyes out.

Sincerely,
Bill DeWitt
   29. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:20 PM (#3514589)
Dear Ruben Amaro:

You ******* *******. What the **** are you thinking? What the **** am I supposed give pay Pujols, ******* gold bricks? Half the ******* franchise?

******* moron. Die an ugly death. I won't be happy until I see vultures pecking your eyes out.

Sincerely,
Bill DeWitt


Usually the idiot's last name starts with "S-T-E-I-N," but it still takes only one idiot.
   30. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:20 PM (#3514590)
David Ortiz was the first thought that came to mind.
   31. AJMcCringleberry Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:23 PM (#3514594)
As a Mets fan, I like this.
   32. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:26 PM (#3514596)
David Ortiz was the first thought that came to mind.

With Mo Vaughn a close second. At least Wells was a CF and an athlete, and Soriano an athlete. This contract's so bad that it borders on unbelievable; you wonder if the reporter got the $$ figures wrong.

Doug Melvin's throwing #### around his office more than DeWitt.
   33. McCoy Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:26 PM (#3514597)

Dear Ruben Amaro:

You ******* *******. What the **** are you thinking? What the **** am I supposed give pay Pujols, ******* gold bricks? Half the ******* franchise?

******* moron. Die an ugly death. I won't be happy until I see vultures pecking your eyes out.

Sincerely,
Bill DeWitt


That baiscally sounds like the same letter that Stanton Cook got after he inked Sandberg. Except insert Bonds' name in there instead of Pujols'.
   34. Tricky Dick Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:28 PM (#3514599)
I wonder what kind of money Prince Fielder will want.
   35. billyshears Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:29 PM (#3514601)
This is a pretty good indication of what the front office thinks of RBIs.
   36. hokieneer Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:30 PM (#3514603)
David Ortiz was the first thought that came to mind.

Alfonso Soriano was the first player/contract that I compared it to. Soriano was 31 when he signed his huge deal, Howard 30. Both of them never walk, strikeout a lot, and have skill sets that do not age well. Both are overrated by "traditional" stats (RBI, SB) and play below average defense.

I have a feeling the Howard deal will never be as bad as the Soriano deal is currently for the Cubs, but it could get close.
   37. Lassus Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:34 PM (#3514608)
Well, who are the best 34-36 seasons ever? Does the money adjusted for inflation support the non-impossible chance he might be worth it for those years? What are the chances, statistically?

The Soriano point is good, but was Soriano ever as good a hitter as Howard?
   38. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:34 PM (#3514609)
I don't know how this deal could possibly have gotten done, considering the owners are secretly colluding and conspiring to keep salaries down. Also, they're racists and are screwing over American black players in favor of the more affordable Latinos.
   39. Win one for Agrippa (haplo53) Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:37 PM (#3514615)
This is a pretty good indication of what the front office thinks of RBIs.


The first thing that popped into my head is that the Phils are betting their core (for lack of a better word) is going to age the same way the Yankees' longtime core (Jeter, Rivera, Posada, Pettitte) has - extraterrestrially well.
   40. AROM Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:37 PM (#3514616)
I wonder what kind of money Prince Fielder will want.


Probably the same thing. And who knows what Pujols will get. I'm glad the Angels have Kendry, who won't hit arbitration until after this year. It will be a few years before he's in line for an inflated contract like this.
   41. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:38 PM (#3514617)
Alfonso Soriano was the first player/contract that I compared it to. Soriano was 31 when he signed his huge deal, Howard 30. Both of them never walk, strikeout a lot, and have skill sets that do not age well. Both are overrated by "traditional" stats (RBI, SB) and play below average defense.


Ryan Howard never walks? I disagree. He's averaged 88 walks per 162 games, or, removing intentional walks (some PAs of which he'd have walked in anyway), 65 walks per 162.

Soriano, in contrast, has averaged 35 UIW per 162.

I also disagree that Soriano's skill set was one that didn't age well. Soriano had speed; the problem was that he was overrated by HR and RBI.
   42. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:38 PM (#3514618)
So for those last three years of the deal, they're paying Howard more than $13* million more than Teixeira is getting for the same age seasons.

Not a winner.

*Putting the buyout at $2 million a year across the life of the contract
   43. BFFB Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:43 PM (#3514623)
That is... not a good contract.
   44. bunyon Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:44 PM (#3514625)
So I take it the "limited no-trade provision" is that by 2014 no one will want his contract?


Of course, I'm happy about this. Howard is, by all accounts, a good guy and he seems to really enjoy being out there. He's a hell of a hitter at the moment. That it will likely be a bad contract down the road? Eh, not my money. Good for Ryan.
   45. Lassus Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:45 PM (#3514628)
I also disagree that Soriano's skill set was one that didn't age well. Soriano had speed

Wait, I'm confused. Speed doesn't age well, I'd think. Older, tired, slower, no?
   46. BFFB Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:46 PM (#3514630)
I also disagree that Soriano's skill set was one that didn't age well. Soriano had speed; the problem was that he was overrated by HR and RBI.


And he has zero strike zone judgement, so as soon as he loses just enough on the bat to no longer make solid contact with those balls out of the zone he was always going to look all kinds of toasty.
   47. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:48 PM (#3514631)
I also disagree that Soriano's skill set was one that didn't age well. Soriano had speed

Wait, I'm confused. Speed doesn't age well, I'd think. Older, tired, slower, no?
Speed, though, is a good proxy for athleticism, and players who are top-notch athletes should age better.
   48. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:48 PM (#3514632)
I'd like to know how the negotiation process went. What was the starting point? $30M a year for 7 years?
   49. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:48 PM (#3514633)
Well, who are the best 34-36 seasons ever?


Given that nutrition and training methods are different today I didn't do a full "ever" search. But the top ten 1B since 1970 for ages 34-36, min. 1000 PA have been (God bless BBRefPI);

McGwire - 197 OPS+ - 1998-2000
Stargell - 148 - 1974-1976
McCovey - 147 - 1972-1974
Palmeiro - 146 - 1999-2001
Killebrew - 142 - 1970-1972
Brett - 136 - 1987-1989
W. Clark - 133 - 1998-2000
Paciorek - 133 - 1981-1983
Oliver - 129 - 1981-1983
Bagwell - 126 - 2002-2004
   50. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:52 PM (#3514638)
Does Prince get more, 'cuz he's younger?
   51. phatj Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:53 PM (#3514639)
Ryan is good but let's not get crazy here he didn't revitalize the Phillies. The Phillies had good players and good teams since the turn of the century and Ryan is simply another player in that chain and they did have Thome before him playing his position and who would have been just as good or almost as good as Howard and it wasn't like Thome was hated in Philly.

I agree that Howard didn't revitalize the team. However, one thing that Howard may have had a large hand in is resuscitating the Phillies' image in the eyes of African-Americans. I'm not enough of a team historian to know the reasons, but prior to 2006 it was rare to see black faces in the crowd at Phillies home games, and likewise rare to see Phillies gear worn by black people outside of the ballpark. I know that there are a lot more people at games and wearing jerseys and so forth in general the last couple years, but I still feel like the mix has changed substantially.

This is probably impossible to quantify, but definitely worth taking into consideration.
   52. hokieneer Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:54 PM (#3514641)
Ryan Howard never walks? I disagree. He's averaged 88 walks per 162 games, or, removing intentional walks (some PAs of which he'd have walked in anyway), 65 walks per 162.

Howard has always been a much better offensive player than soriano, so maybe my comp has a few holes.

I was going more for the age/overrated by media and traditional stats/potential franchise crippling contract: comparison.

I also disagree that Soriano's skill set was one that didn't age well. Soriano had speed

Speed doesn't help you lay off crap pitches and wait for a good FB to hit. If he's not hitting HRs (mostly on fastballs or mistake pitches) he has little offense value becuase he doesn't walk. As the bat speed has dropped, so has his production. Now theoretically he should still be able to play defense (because of his speed).
   53. Lassus Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:55 PM (#3514643)
Thanks, Jose. What kind of OPS+ would be worth that contract, then, I wonder? Is it impossible for Howard to make the numbers that would be justified, comparatively?
   54. God Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:57 PM (#3514646)
Yeah, "never walks" is a weird thing to say about someone who's played 4 full seasons and surpassed 100 walks in two of them.

His walks have admittedly declined the last two years, but that's partly due to a decrease in IBBs.
   55. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2010 at 07:57 PM (#3514647)
The problem with the Soriano is done school of thought is that he's actually hitting again through this point in the season. Now the fielding is another matter entirely.
   56. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:02 PM (#3514649)
My first reation to this was laughter. Lots of laughter. My second was, "Congratulations, Mets fans." It's possible, of course, that Howard could age like Killebrew, but I wouldn't bet $125 million on it. It's more likely that by the end of this contract he's a lefty version of Gorman Thomas or Jay Buhner. Which wouldn't be worthless, but it wouldn't be worth half of what he was making, either.
   57. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:05 PM (#3514650)
The problem with the Soriano is done school of thought is that he's actually hitting again through this point in the season. Now the fielding is another matter entirely.

He's been hurt a lot. His contract's bad, but he was a better risk at the time he signed it than Howard is now. And Soriano's season before he signed it (911 OPS in a bad park, 41S SB) is better than the numbers Howard's putting up now.

The Phillies should have given the money to Cliff Lee. They could have replaced Howard with the leftovers.

It's more likely that by the end of this contract he's a lefty version of Gorman Thomas or Jay Buhner.

Each a top-grade outfielder; Gorman a CF.
   58. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:06 PM (#3514652)
I'd like to know how the negotiation process went. What was the starting point? $30M a year for 7 years?
That's my question too. I think it makes sense in some ways for the Phillies to lock up Howard, given the state of their core, but I have trouble understanding why they offered so much. Howard's comparables do not get contracts like this.

I know people have issues with the fangraphs dollar values - I happen to think they're intelligently derived and highly useful, at least for position players - but I know of no criticism of them holding that they under-value baseball players. Howard's been worth, over the full seasons of his career (2006-2009):

2006: $25.3M
2007: $17.1M
2008: $14.7M
2009: $22.0M

Those are his peak years. He's now being paid significantly more than he was worth, when he was expected to be at his best, for what we'd expect to be the beginning of his decline. Inflation would make this look a little better, but it's not nearly enough.
   59. Dan Szymborski Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:19 PM (#3514659)
Would anyone, given the choice between signing Ryan Howard to a 2-year, $39 million contract (what he had as of yesterday) and signing Ryan Howard to a 7-year, $164 million contract (what he has now), would anyone think "Wow, that latter one is awesome! I can't wait to have Ryan Howard for his decline?"
   60. RJ in TO Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:24 PM (#3514663)
I know people have issues with the fangraphs dollar values - I happen to think they're intelligently derived and highly useful, at least for position players - but I know of no criticism of them holding that they under-value baseball players.


Since I'm lazy, and can't be bothered to check the Fangraphs site, could someone confirm how Fangraphs gets these estimates? Is it based only on free agent signings, or does it also include extensions, or deals that buy out FA years? Also, does it just take a straight average ($/WAR) or does it do a non-linear fit (such that first WAR would be valued as less than the second WAR which is valued less than the third WAR...). And, assuming a linear fit, how well does it correlate to the actual contracts individual players receive?
   61. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:24 PM (#3514664)
What kind of OPS+ would be worth that contract, then, I wonder? Is it impossible for Howard to make the numbers that would be justified, comparatively?


You pay for two things with a contract; reliability and performance. Howard has so far been a durable guy and the Phillie fans here seem to believe that he is taking steps to improve his fitness so let's assume he'll stay healthy, that's worth some money, quite a bit in my opinion.

The problem then becomes performance. Even accounting for inflation Howard probably has to be one of the 10-15 most valuable, free agent eligible players in the game five years from now to be worth that kind of price tag. I just can't see that. He was 14th in OPS+ last year among players under 30 and pretty much all his value is in his bat. Guys below him in OPS+ like Tulowitzki, Longoria and Justin Upton would leapfrog him fairly easily in value I think and are near certainties to be more valuable in 2014.

Unless you believe those guys would all either be unavailable or fetching $25 million salaries come 2015 (something only one active player currently has - soon to be joined by Pujols) I don't see this making sense.
   62. Lassus Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:27 PM (#3514665)
Unless you believe those guys would all either be unavailable or fetching $25 million salaries come 2015 (something only one active player currently has - soon to be joined by Pujols) I don't see this making sense.

Fair enough. I just was trying to question the status quo a bit to see if anything else was viable. Thanks for answering, I appreciate it.
   63. phredbird Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:29 PM (#3514667)
I'm less worried about the Phillies, but more for what this deal will do to the market for the many players who are demonstrably superior hitters to Howard - does this raise the floor for superstar-level contracts? It has to, right?


my first thought was that the cards would have to hand over the keys to fort knox to albert. but they did sign holliday and i think he might go a little easier on 'em for making that commitment, esp. if this year turns out well. keepin my fingers crossed.
   64. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:33 PM (#3514668)
I don't believe that this signing will have much of any effect on Pujols' contract. His comparable was never Howard, and it was always A-Rod. Rodriguez got 10/250 and then 10/300 as the game's best player. Pujols will be looking for that kind of money, or a little more. This doesn't change Pujols' situation, I don't think.
   65. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:34 PM (#3514671)
The ESPN.com article felt obligated to point out that he's just one of four players to have 4+ consecutive seasons of 40+ home runs and 130+ RBI, the other three being Ruth, Sosa & Griffey. Of course, they neglect to mention that Ruth was, well, Ruth, and by five years after that final 40/130 season, Griffey was a pale, wounded shadow of his former self and Sosa couldn't find a team that would play him.

It's a bad contract for the Phillies.
   66. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:42 PM (#3514674)
I wonder what kind of money Prince Fielder will want.

Fielder was already asking for $25M per, only for eight years. This just makes it more likely that the Brewers will trade him to someone who will actually pay him that--if that team indeed exists.
   67. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:43 PM (#3514675)
[Soriano's] contract's bad, but he was a better risk at the time he signed it than Howard is now.
Soriano got 8/136 in the 2006-7 offseason. People talk about a 10% annual salary inflation - if you believe that, it makes Soriano's contract the equivalent of 8/181 if it had been signed this offseason (when Howard's extension was agreed).

Add together Howard's existing contract and the extension, and it's 7/164 - and Howard is a better player than Soriano was.

I think the Soriano contract was dumber - which is not to defend this move! It's a colossal waste of resources, and totally unnecessary because they had him under contract until the end of 2011 anyway. As others have said, it makes the Lee trade look ridiculous.
   68. Greg Goosen at 30 Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:47 PM (#3514680)
Is Mark Attanasio going to blame the Yankees for this huge contract?
   69. Willie Mayspedes Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:52 PM (#3514685)
At least Howard doesn't skip around the OF like a little nancy boy when he catches the ball.
   70. Tommy in CT Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:53 PM (#3514686)
Is Mark Attanasio going to blame the Yankees for this huge contract?


In effect, he already has.
   71. McCoy Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:53 PM (#3514687)
I agree that Howard didn't revitalize the team. However, one thing that Howard may have had a large hand in is resuscitating the Phillies' image in the eyes of African-Americans. I'm not enough of a team historian to know the reasons, but prior to 2006 it was rare to see black faces in the crowd at Phillies home games, and likewise rare to see Phillies gear worn by black people outside of the ballpark. I know that there are a lot more people at games and wearing jerseys and so forth in general the last couple years, but I still feel like the mix has changed substantially.

This is probably impossible to quantify, but definitely worth taking into consideration.


The problem is of course that Howard isn't the only black guy on the team. Jimmy Rollins does exist.
   72. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:54 PM (#3514689)
What!? That's just so much money for a guy who, as others have pointed out, is basically a 140 OPS+, average defensive 1B. He's a fine player, an excellent one even, but 25 million a year through his mid-30s? Maybe they can afford it, but why? Even if you buy that the Phillies can afford it, why not wait and see how he does this year?
   73. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 26, 2010 at 08:56 PM (#3514690)

I just substituted "Ortiz" for "Howard" and "Red Sox" for "Phillies" and had a good chuckle.


Of course, Ortiz got an extension of half the amount for one less year.
   74. Harold Reynolds Number Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:03 PM (#3514697)
Does the money adjusted for inflation support the non-impossible chance he might be worth it for those years?

This is clearly a hyperinflation gamble.
   75. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:15 PM (#3514707)
This is clearly a hyperinflation gamble.

There are ways to be long hyperinflation without being long Ryan Howard.
   76. Davo Dozier Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:17 PM (#3514711)
Just so there's no confusion when people look at the BBTF archives 5 years from now:

This is a catastrophically bad decision by the Phils.
   77. Depressoteric Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:20 PM (#3514713)
When I submitted this article (probably simultaneously with a lot of other Primates) I editorialized merely by saying "this will not end well." I stand by that.

Ruben Amaro, Jr...you are baseball's Chauncy Gardener, and I admire your serendipitous combination of incredible luck and foolhardiness.
   78. Harold Reynolds Number Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:22 PM (#3514715)
There are ways to be long hyperinflation without being long Ryan Howard.

Owning a heavily-leveraged baseball franchise is one of them... Tom Hicks: financial visionary...
   79. AROM Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:24 PM (#3514716)
#1 player comp on B-ref is Richie Sexson. Ouch.
   80. Repoz Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:29 PM (#3514717)
Bet this turns out to be a good deal...because ~~Steve Phillips~~ just told Francesspool it was a shocking deal.
   81. TDF, situational idiot Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:31 PM (#3514720)
This is really the money quote (so to speak):
Unless you believe those guys would all either be unavailable or fetching $25 million salaries come 2015 (something only one active player currently has - soon to be joined by Pujols)
ARod, through age 29, had an OPS+ only slightly better than Howard at 146 (though he'd had more than twice the PA), had won 2 GGs at SS, and had averaged twice as many SBs as Howard has for his career. In nearly twice as many PA as Howard, Pujols has an OPS+ out-of-this-world higher (in fact, he has no seasons as "bad" as Howard's 2nd best), has 3 MVPs (he's finished lower than 3rd twice) and a GG, and while no speed demon has stolen 50 more bases than Howard. If those two guys are the standard for "$25M player", in no sane world should Howard get that kind of contract.

In fact, I'd throw out there that Joey Votto is every bit the player Howard is right now. Would anyone in his right mind suggest Votto is a $25M player?
   82. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:32 PM (#3514721)
This is a catastrophically bad decision by the Phils.
Finally! An opportunity to be contrarian.

I doubt this will be a catastrophically bad decision. Ryan Howard has quite a ways to fall before he's no longer a reasonable contributor to a playoff club. The Phillies play in one of the five or so largest markets in baseball and can expect to make the playoffs several times in the next several years - they shouldn't face any significant money problems unless their owner has issues external to baseball.

This is not a good contract, and it is unlikely to help the Phillies over the course of the contract, but the Phillies are unlikely to experience any catastrophes due to this signing. It is, I'd say, a contract that runs far too much of a risk of being catastrophically bad, but fairly measured I'd take the side of the bet opposite catastrophe.

And, of course, when this is the best you can do in defense of a signing, it ain't a good 'un.
   83. Spivey Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:41 PM (#3514725)
Ryan Howard is the face of that team, right? And he's their most marketed player? This isn't a good deal just in terms of on the field talent - but it can be hard to let a very good player, and a very popular player, leave right as you should be competing for pennants for a few years. It's also not that easy to replace guys like this - just because you have the money doesn't mean there's a guy out there that can put up all-star numbers at 1B or that even if there is that he will come to Philly.

I don't think it's a great deal, but this seems like a really hard deal to analyze completely in terms of wins added on the field.
   84. Harold Reynolds Number Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:43 PM (#3514726)
Would anyone in his right mind suggest Votto is a $25M player?

Does Joey Votto's agent count? ...Because he may be suggesting that before too long.
   85. Sean Forman Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:46 PM (#3514727)

Ryan Howard is the face of that team, right? And he's their most marketed player? This isn't a good deal just in terms of on the field talent - but it can be hard to let a very good player, and a very popular player, leave right as you should be competing for pennants for a few years. It's also not that easy to replace guys like this - just because you have the money doesn't mean there's a guy out there that can put up all-star numbers at 1B or that even if there is that he will come to Philly.


This is a team with Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Roy Halladay. They aren't hurting for icons.

I wouldn't be surprised if this deal looks awful this year or next. He just isn't a good bet to age well. I suspect they could have waited two years and signed him for half as much total money.
   86. The District Attorney Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:53 PM (#3514730)
Does this mean the Pujols trade is off???
   87. Davo Dozier Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:54 PM (#3514731)
I doubt this will be a catastrophically bad decision. Ryan Howard has quite a ways to fall before he's no longer a reasonable contributor to a playoff club.
I'll be a contrarian to your contrarianism... :)

Ryan Howard has old player skills. He hits homers and he draws walks. He can't run, he doesn't play good defense, and he strikes out a ton.

Players like that have extremely little margin for error. Once he loses the ability to, say, turn on the inside fastball like he did at age 27, he's done. 265/.360/.560 becomes .240/.320/.480 and 100 OPS+ defensively-challenged firstbasemen are not reasonable contributors to playoff clubs, so now the Phillies are paying $25 million a year for a pinch-hitter.

Ryan Howard turned 30 this offseason. Players with his skill-set lose it fast.

And, SSS concerns and all, but guess who's drawn exactly 1 unintentional walk in 18 games this year.

This will not end well.
   88. JPWF13 Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:59 PM (#3514735)
1bs/DHs
2007-2010, 1200+ PAs (I wanted around 30 players)
by OPS+

Rk      Player      OPS+      BA      OBP      SLG      RBI      PA      From      To
1     Albert Pujols     178     .335     .442     .627     371     2103     2007     2010
2     Prince Fielder     150     .286     .393     .567     369     2175     2007     2010
3     Mark Teixeira     146     .295     .393     .548     356     2049     2007     2010
4     Adrian Gonzalez     145     .281     .373     .524     332     2178     2007     2010
5     Carlos Pena     143     .252     .381     .550     341     1866     2007     2010
6     Lance Berkman     142     .288     .401     .528     292     1920     2007     2010
7     Miguel Cabrera     142     .313     .384     .552     371     2136     2007     2010
8     Joey Votto     138     .308     .389     .533     194     1302     2007     2010
9     Ryan Howard     134     .266     .360     .561     439     2134     2007     2010
10     Kevin Youkilis     134     .301     .396     .522     303     1918     2007     2010
11     Justin Morneau     132     .286     .366     .507     355     2058     2007     2010
12     David Ortiz     131     .276     .380     .526     309     1840     2007     2010
13     Jim Thome     131     .255     .379     .518     271     1612     2007     2010
14     Derrek Lee     126     .301     .384     .512     294     2044     2007     2010
15     Jack Cust     125     .241     .378     .462     229     1717     2007     2009
16     Todd Helton     123     .309     .416     .464     209     1754     2007     2010
17     Hideki Matsui     123     .284     .367     .482     249     1620     2007     2010
18     Adam LaRoche     117     .273     .348     .480     263     1877     2007     2010
19     Carlos Delgado     117     .267     .347     .488     225     1405     2007     2009
20     Paul Konerko     115     .261     .352     .485     254     1846     2007     2010
21     Jason Giambi     111     .229     .361     .446     187     1251     2007     2010
22     Billy Butler     110     .292     .346     .450     211     1590     2007     2010
23     Travis Hafner     110     .253     .360     .430     178     1343     2007     2010
24     James Loney     110     .297     .355     .442     254     1759     2007     2010
25     Gary Sheffield     108     .253     .358     .437     175     1387     2007     2009
Rk     Player     OPS
+     BA     OBP     SLG     RBI     PA     From     To
26     Ryan Garko     107     .276     .349     .434     202     1516     2007     2010
27     Jorge Cantu     105     .280     .334     .457     228     1543     2007     2010
28     Casey Kotchman     103     .279     .346     .426     204     1581     2007     2010
29     Lyle Overbay     103     .254     .345     .418     182     1679     2007     2010
30     Conor Jackson     100     .282     .362     .430     151     1250     2007     2010
31     Mike Jacobs     97     .246     .304     .458     210     1485     2007     2010
32     Kevin Millar     94     .239     .337     .397     164     1455     2007     2009 


That's Howard at #9 by OPS+
Of course he's first in RBIs, so that makes him #1 in some eyes
   89. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:00 PM (#3514738)
Bet this turns out to be a good deal...because ~~Steve Phillips~~ just told Francesspool it was a shocking deal.

So what does that make Phillips trading for Mo Vaughn three years into his deal, after OPSs of 866, 864, and, um, 0?
   90. Mr. J. Penny Smoltzuzaka Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:02 PM (#3514740)
My thoughts were like a lot of people. I thought of Mo Vaughn and then David Ortiz. Then I thought of Albert Pujols somewhere chuckling to himself... or at least his agent is - Pujols perhaps doesn't chuckle.
   91. alkeiper Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:08 PM (#3514743)
The more I think about it, the more I rescind my optimism for this deal.
   92. Tripon Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:09 PM (#3514744)
Players to ask for $25 million per year for the next few years (years given are the last year of their contracts before they become FA):

2011: Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez
2012: Matt Kemp, Matt Cain, Zack Greinke
2013: Timmah
2014: Clayton Kershaw
2015: Tommy Hanson
   93. JRVJ (formerly Delta Socrates) Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:11 PM (#3514746)
The question I would ask is who exactly, within the Phillies brain trust, thought that this was a good signing?

I mean, we are talking about the same Phillies who chose to trade Cliff Lee so as to not bankrupt the farm system, and then will probably be unable to sign many Lat Am FAs (particularly Cubans, since it seems like we're going to see more and more Cuban players be made available to MLB every year, and I don't mean Jose Contreras).
   94. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:12 PM (#3514747)
What do you figure are the odds that he plays the entire length of this contract for the Phillies? I'm thinking it's not more than 30%.
   95. asdf1234 Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:16 PM (#3514749)
Howard's perceived value is only a bit less than that of Pujols regardless of how much better Albert actually is; I'd imagine that incorrect perception won't do much to Albert's value, as he was already likely to sign in the $25-30M range. The real question is the length of Pujols' extension, as it wouldn't surprise me if he demands something closer to ten years than five.
   96. PerroX Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:16 PM (#3514750)
Good for Ryan Howard.

Btw, how much are the Mets paying Bobby Bo this year? And the next? And thd next?

Not a Phillies phan, but i wouldnt be too worried about this contract if i were them.
   97. Tripon Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:16 PM (#3514751)
Depends on how you define length. He could retire during the middle of the contract and decide to allow the Phillies to keep the rest of the money.
   98. PerroX Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:22 PM (#3514756)
A bad contract is my friend agreeing to pay $310/mo over the next six years for a used Kia.
   99. alkeiper Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:27 PM (#3514757)
What troubles me right now is that the Phillies are showing a pattern of overpaying on years. Ibanez for three years. Polanco for three years. Danys Baez for two years. Ross Gload for two years. They're signing guys for multi-year deals who really should have minor league contracts. It's fine now but when the core fades it's going to be a hard crash. Unless something from the low minors explodes into stardom.
   100. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:28 PM (#3514759)
I'd imagine that incorrect perception won't do much to Albert's value, as he was already likely to sign in the $25-30M range. The real question is the length of Pujols' extension, as it wouldn't surprise me if he demands something closer to ten years than five.


Forbes has the Cardinals valued at $488M. Can they really sign Pujols to a contract that's worth more than half their franchise? Maybe they should just give him 10% ownership and a lifetime contract. But I suppose he couldn't be part of the player's union then. And there would be conflict of interests with his fellow teammates.
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