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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 | 213 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies

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   101. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:30 PM (#3514760)
2014: Clayton Kershaw
2015: Tommy Hanson


Nitpicking, I know, but I don't know that I'd project these guys or anyone else their age to anything like that this far ahead of time. Kershaw walked five guys per nine last year, and Hanson has yet to reach 150 innings in the Majors. Or, to quote Winston Wolf...
   102. GregD Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:32 PM (#3514761)
I'd be curious about the internal dynamics. It's possible to imagine ownership pressure to sign Howard who is a genuinely beloved player for a franchise in its golden years. And Amaro is only looking through 3-4 years, right? To maximize the run they're on. In the end, it's the owners and fans who will be the ones eating the effects of this deal since no GM is likely to last 10 years. If you were a GM and you could marginally increase your odds of winning a 2nd (or 3rd) World Series at the expense of the long-term future of the franchise, you'd have incentives to do dumb-a** stuff like this, too.
   103. The District Attorney Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:35 PM (#3514765)
Or, to quote Winston Wolf...
"Just because you are a character, doesn't mean you have character"?

Seems more relevant to Cole Hamels or someone, but okay.

We could quote from the exploits of a character who himself is named Ryan Howard: "Ryan started the fire..."
   104. RJ in TO Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:57 PM (#3514772)
In the end, it's the owners and fans who will be the ones eating the effects of this deal since no GM is likely to last 10 years.


Beane and Cashman have both been in charge for well over a decade. Theo is likely to clear that mark. Hendry is in his 9th year. O'Dowd is up to 12 years. Towers lasted something like 14 years. Minaya is up to 6 years and has a big extension just beginning to kick in. Ricciardi lasted 9 years, despite not winning a damn thing. Amaro is coming off a World Series appearance, and is an early favorite to go back this year. If he wants the job for 10 years, he'll have the job for 10 years. Coaches have little shot at 10 years with the same team - a decent GM has a good chance to clear that mark.

EDIT: Dayton Moore is in year 5, with a 5 year extension. He's been terrible, and he still has a chance to make it to a decade.
   105. phatj Posted: April 26, 2010 at 10:57 PM (#3514773)
The problem is of course that Howard isn't the only black guy on the team. Jimmy Rollins does exist.

Of course. But Jimmy Rollins has been with the Phillies since 2001, and my (completely unsubstantiated) impression is that the number of black fans didn't increase appreciably until around 2006, Howard's MVP year. J-Roll didn't really become Superstar Jimmy Rollins until 2007 and thus wasn't really a huge draw.
   106. OCD SS Posted: April 26, 2010 at 11:00 PM (#3514774)
Does Prince get more, 'cuz he's younger?


Will Prince have any chance to use Howard's argument of getting into impeccable shape? How's his vegetarian diet coming along?
   107. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 26, 2010 at 11:00 PM (#3514775)
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.

So, make Utley the face of the franchise for the next two years. He's a better player anyhow.

I can't see any conceivable situation where they would have paid more by waiting two years and bidding for him as a FA. Teixeira got less p.a. with both the Yankees and Red Sox in on it. Neither of them is likely to be in the 1B market in two years.

In 2 years they could have gotten him for 4/80 or 5/100, even assuming he doesn't show any decline.

Dumb, dumb move.
   108. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 26, 2010 at 11:06 PM (#3514777)
EDIT: misread post. g'night y'all
   109. McCoy Posted: April 26, 2010 at 11:15 PM (#3514783)
If you were a GM and you could marginally increase your odds of winning a 2nd (or 3rd) World Series at the expense of the long-term future of the franchise, you'd have incentives to do dumb-a** stuff like this, too.

Then you sign Cliff Lee to a contract and not do this.
   110. hokieneer Posted: April 26, 2010 at 11:35 PM (#3514795)
To me the most shocking part of this contract is the timing of it. The recent trend for teams has been to sign the young stars to a contract to buy out part of the arb years. Young stars like Wright, Reyes, Mauer, Morneau, Lester, Pedroia, Youk, Cano, Longoria, H-Ran (and I'm sure there are many many more) all signed multi-year deals while they were still in arb years.

Over the last few years there have been 3 young-ish players who have, for whatever reason, not been able to get locked into long term deal to buy out the arb years: Pappelbon, Fielder, & Howard. Pappelbon has clearly lost something and it appears the Sox aren't' interested in a long term deal. There are questions about whether the Brewers can afford Fielder (or if he'd even want to sign there). All these years when the Phillies were paying those record arb contracts to Howard I always thought they were just taking advantage of their control over him and had no reason to lock him in long term (for all the reasons brought up in the thread). He signed for what 3 years this past winter, which would have covered the rest of his arb years and prime, which still makes a lot of since for the Phillies given their current window to compete.

So why now, when he's almost 30, do they break the bank to sign him long term? It would have been smarter to either sign him 3 years ago to a cheaper long-term deal or as someone suggested, wait and try to re sign him in 2 years. From the Phillies perspective, I don't understand this contract at all.

Good for Howard though, get the money while you can.
   111. John DiFool2 Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:09 AM (#3514814)
Mike Schmidt's club-record 548 career home runs is now in jeopardy.


Doubtful. Howard would need 329 home runs from here on out (say 33 per year from ages 30 to 39). I doubt more than a handful of players in history have done that in their 30's: McGwire did it of course, but we all know...well yeah. His comp list has Mac on it-and 9 guys who had big trouble remaining impact bats into their mid 30's-yes, Papi, Mo, & Prince's daddy are all there (McCovey lasted to 42 but was injured half the time, tho effective when healthy). It's like Buehrle and 300 wins-greater longshots than you'd think.
   112. Textbook Editor Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:14 AM (#3514818)
You have to understand how dumb the Phillies' ownership is. They are historically dumb. Monumentally dumb. This contract should be no surprise to anyone who has followed this team since it was owned by Bill Giles, David Montgomery, et al. starting in 1981. These are stupid people. They do stupid things. This is a stupid thing, which they will disguise as being a good thing: "Taking care of our own."

It will be fun to watch them trade Roy Halladay in the last year or two of his contract to help cut payroll so they can still pay Ryan Howard, who they can't unload to anyone at any price.

Amaro is an idiot, but you have to understand he was weaned at the ### of the most titanic idiot to run a baseball team in decades: Ed Wade. The way to understand this deal is to substitute "Wade" for "Amaro." Do that and suddenly you can see how such a mistake happens...
   113. Lassus Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:32 AM (#3514831)
So, make Utley the face of the franchise for the next two years. He's a better player anyhow.

As an aside, I think it's much harder to MAKE someone the face of your franchise than it is for someone to simply become one. The reason why Howard is has a lot to do with how accessible and friendly and ESPECIALLY charismatic he is, in combination with his massive HRs and RBI total. Utley may be better, but right or wrong IMO he won't ever be the face of the franchise as he doesn't display those same qualities. Rollins was mentioned above in regards to this, and I think the same applies to him.
   114. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:37 AM (#3514838)
Beane and Cashman have both been in charge for well over a decade. Theo is likely to clear that mark. Hendry is in his 9th year. O'Dowd is up to 12 years. Towers lasted something like 14 years. Minaya is up to 6 years and has a big extension just beginning to kick in. Ricciardi lasted 9 years, despite not winning a damn thing. Amaro is coming off a World Series appearance, and is an early favorite to go back this year.

2010 is Ken Williams' 10th season as White Sox GM, and I don't think he's going anywhere any time soon.
   115. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:40 AM (#3514840)
As an aside, I think it's much harder to MAKE someone the face of your franchise than it is for someone to simply become one. The reason why Howard is has a lot to do with how accessible and friendly and ESPECIALLY charismatic he is, in combination with his massive HRs and RBI total. Utley may be better, but right or wrong IMO he won't ever be the face of the franchise as he doesn't display those same qualities. Rollins was mentioned above in regards to this, and I think the same applies to him.

You could certainly make him the centerpiece of your ad/pr campaigns, have the home announcers talk him up, etc.
   116. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:41 AM (#3514841)
Even if we assume that Ryan Howard is worth more to the Phillies than he would be to any other team, that doesn't mean the Phillies need to pay him more than any other team would. That's the worst kind of faulty logic.
   117. Lassus Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:48 AM (#3514848)
You could certainly make him the centerpiece of your ad/pr campaigns, have the home announcers talk him up, etc.

Oh absolutely. I'm not saying it wouldn't work, simply that Howard's a real natural, whereas Utley really isn't.
It wasn't really anything scientific, just an observation. (And Utley might actually hate all that attention, and maybe it would stress him out or something. You never really know.)
   118. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:49 AM (#3514850)
2010 is Ken Williams' 10th season as White Sox GM, and I don't think he's going anywhere any time soon.

Sabean's in the over a decade club as well.
   119. formerly dp Posted: April 27, 2010 at 01:03 AM (#3514862)
Does this mean they won't try to resign Werth?
   120. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 27, 2010 at 01:04 AM (#3514865)
Doubtful. Howard would need 329 home runs from here on out (say 33 per year from ages 30 to 39). I doubt more than a handful of players in history have done that in their 30's: McGwire did it of course, but we all know...well yeah.


Unless somebody else has done it in the last couple of seasons, I think 6 players have hit more than 329 home runs from age 30 onward. Basically, the list is inner-circle all-time great home-run hitters and/or steroid users: Bonds, Ruth, Palmeiro, Aaron, Mays, and McGwire. Sosa's 7th (315) before you get to non-inner circle non-steroid suspect guys: Schmidt (313), Stargell (310), Reggie Jackson (309), and Andres Gallaraga (302).
   121. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 27, 2010 at 01:27 AM (#3514895)
Sosa's 7th (315) before you get to non-inner circle non-steroid suspect guys: Schmidt (313), Stargell (310), Reggie Jackson (309), and Andres Gallaraga (302).

You don't consider Schmidt inner circle? If not inner, than on the cusp.
   122. hokieneer Posted: April 27, 2010 at 01:27 AM (#3514896)
Does this mean they won't try to resign Werth?

Probably not. He's never had a 100 RBI season.
   123. Sean Forman Posted: April 27, 2010 at 01:40 AM (#3514907)
Oh absolutely. I'm not saying it wouldn't work, simply that Howard's a real natural, whereas Utley really isn't. It wasn't really anything scientific, just an observation. (And Utley might actually hate all that attention, and maybe it would stress him out or something. You never really know.)


Lassus. Do you live in Philly? Because I'm just not seeing the effect you are describing. To my eye (which may be biased by my belief that Utley is the far superior player) I think Utley is every bit as popular as Howard. He is a gritty player who has played through very challenging injuries without a complaint, he dropped the f-bomb at the WS parade, he has a gorgeous wife and does a lot of charitable stuff around town for animals, he had all of the WS home runs. He never does a stupid thing on the field, doesn't strike out too much.

I think there are more Utley t-shirts sold than Howard t-shirts. I think Textbook Editor is the one right on with this contract.
   124. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 27, 2010 at 01:48 AM (#3514921)
You don't consider Schmidt inner circle? If not inner, than on the cusp.


I almost went back and added an edit to that effect. I'd agree that he's right on the cusp, but he's still a pretty clear step down from Ruth, Mays, and Aaron, I'd say, especially just in terms of home run hitting. Regardless, I think it's EXTREMELY unlikely that Howard ends up breaking Schmidt's Phillie record for home runs.
   125. madvillain Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:00 AM (#3514935)
Ok, so the paid him more than he's worth on and off the field. It's a bad deal for the club -- we all get it.

That said, the Phillies won a 'chip and just locked up their most marketable player, probably making him a Philly for life.

It isn't that bad of a deal, and yea it will hurt them on the field when they have to move guys who they should be paying instead of Howard -- but come on folks, this isn't Barry Zito or Soriano bad, it's just regular old bad.
   126. John DiFool2 Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:01 AM (#3514939)
Is your inner circle only like 9 guys strong then? With no 3B? His peak actually compares very well with Aaron's, but Hank has like 3,000 PA on him of course.
   127. Sean Forman Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:09 AM (#3514950)
It isn't that bad of a deal, and yea it will hurt them on the field when they have to move guys who they should be paying instead of Howard -- but come on folks, this isn't Barry Zito or Soriano bad, it's just regular old bad.


I always hate these arguments because five years from now, I won't be able to come back and crow that I was right. Someone should create a site that tracks these things.
   128. Tripon Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:11 AM (#3514952)
SeanFormanwasright.com
   129. Textbook Editor Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:21 AM (#3514961)
#125--This is Barry Zito bad. I want to be on record saying that.

#123--Sean, thanks. And thank you for all your work--It's great that a fellow Hawk (I'm class of '93) helps keep the baseball world a-turnin'.
   130. McCoy Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:25 AM (#3514964)
Wining a "chip" means nothing going forward, especially for contracts that can be a huge albatross. 4 years from now when he is getting paid like ARod and putting up an .800 OPS nobody in Philly is going to be kind to him because of a WS championship 6 years ago.
   131. Lassus Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:55 AM (#3515007)
Lassus. Do you live in Philly? Because I'm just not seeing the effect you are describing. To my eye (which may be biased by my belief that Utley is the far superior player) I think Utley is every bit as popular as Howard.

Nope, NYC. I'm viewing from a national outside perspective, I guess? There's no way Utley's more known nationally than Howard, and if you're going for "face of the franchise", that has to be true outside of the city you're based in. I guess you could be right about the popularity, I'm definitely not there, but as much as fans love to swear and gawk at pretty ballplayer wives, I simply don't think all the stuff you described is endearing in the same way that Howard's smiling face and non-cursing is. And, of course, the RBI and HR, which drive everyone crazy.

This is all completely opinion and impression, I wouldn't lay money on it or argue vehemently without sales figures and/or a poll.

Also, I'm not saying the contract isn't bad at all. I questioned the majority earlier, and got my answer. (I think I'm with "reallyshitty" over "catastrophic", but whatever.) I started this point as an aside about snapper's "Face of the Franchise" comment, that's all.
   132. Ron Johnson Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:56 AM (#3515010)
Wait, I'm confused. Speed doesn't age well, I'd think. Older, tired, slower, no?


I believe it was a Steve Sax comment (probably in one of the player ratings books) that James argued (no study, just anecdotal evidence) that fast players tend to age well.

His central point was that fast players are largely immune to one specific type of career end. There's an absolute minimum amount of speed (or mobility) for every position. Fall below the threshold and you have to find a new position. Any player who doesn't have the bat to handle a less demanding position is out of the game in fairly short order.
   133. madvillain Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:57 AM (#3515013)
The 'chip is independent of the conventional (and spot on) contract analysis, but I'm also inclined to agree with Bill Simmons (I loathe most of his other writing) when he says winning the 'chip is a 5 year play on house money for the fans -- moreso perhaps for lone suffering fans like Philly fans.

Ok, so they botched the actual deal, but they are on house money for the next 4 or so years, sometimes bad things just happen when you go in blazin' drunk with success, and push a couple blue chips into the pot on your outside straight draw.

It's a bad deal, but my argument is that given the context of a world series with Ryan Howard as your hero, especially black Ryan Howard in the face of declining AA stars in baseball, that it's a passable offense. Passable in the sense that it won't cripple them down the road and Howard will remain a 4 WAR or so player into his mid-30's and revenue (partly because of Howard) will continue to be strong.

Of course, that's just like my opinion.
   134. Lassus Posted: April 27, 2010 at 03:02 AM (#3515019)
'chip

This term makes my corneas bleed.
   135. hokieneer Posted: April 27, 2010 at 03:05 AM (#3515022)
#125, this is right on par with Zito and Soriano.

He's 6 months older than Texeira, can't play defense, and is going to make more money than Texeira over the life of the contract. How is this not going to end badly?
   136. madvillain Posted: April 27, 2010 at 03:27 AM (#3515046)
Lassus: hyperbole, as you can (hopefully) see makes mine bleed.
   137. McCoy Posted: April 27, 2010 at 03:32 AM (#3515047)
Nobody in Philly is going to give Howard a pass because he is black. Nobody in Philly is going to say "well, he sucks, he makes 25 million a year, and is 20% of our payroll but at least he is black so the blackfolk having something to cheer at the park". When you can't hit or can't pitch nobody gives a damn what color your skin is.
   138. McCoy Posted: April 27, 2010 at 03:40 AM (#3515051)
Nope, NYC. I'm viewing from a national outside perspective, I guess? There's no way Utley's more known nationally than Howard, and if you're going for "face of the franchise", that has to be true outside of the city you're based in. I guess you could be right about the popularity, I'm definitely not there, but as much as fans love to swear and gawk at pretty ballplayer wives, I simply don't think all the stuff you described is endearing in the same way that Howard's smiling face and non-cursing is.

According to Google in 2009 the two ran about even and in the playoffs Utley took the lead. In 2008 it was Utley all the way. 2006 and 2007 it was Howard. In Philly the clear advantage is to Utley over the last 3 seasons.
   139. Hugh Jorgan Posted: April 27, 2010 at 03:47 AM (#3515054)
'chip

Lassus: hyperbole, as you can (hopefully) see makes mine bleed.

Sorry Matt, the 'chip or c'hip(as I would've written it if I were so inclined but I wasn't) wins out over hyperbole in the eye-bleeding category, then again maybe someone being annoyingly verbose is your cup of tea like this very long winded run on Kafkaesque style sentence that I continously type here.

Oh, and the contract will be a boat anchor, Forman is spot on.
   140. Lassus Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:01 AM (#3515056)
According to Google

According to Google how? Search hits? For past years? You lost me.
   141. madvillain Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:05 AM (#3515058)
actually on my eye bleeding scale using the term "Kafkaesque" rates high as well. I much prefer the term "DavidFosterWallaceesque" for 2010.
   142. McCoy Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:10 AM (#3515061)
google trends
   143. ColonelTom Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:14 AM (#3515063)
Count me on with the Zito/Soriano comps and the "boat anchor" comment on this deal. The B-R comps are mostly horrifying:

1. Richie Sexson (918)
2. Cecil Fielder (893)
3. Mo Vaughn (891)
4. Willie McCovey (891)
5. David Ortiz (890)
6. Tony Clark (890)
7. Mark McGwire (889)
8. Carlos Delgado (889)
9. Fred McGriff (885)
10. Norm Cash (876)

Five of the top six were/are toast before age 35. The last four fared much better, but only two guys on that list (McCovey and McGwire) were superstar-level players at ages 35-36.

As a fan, I love Howard. Obviously he's a great power hitter. He's worked his ass off to get in better shape and improve his fielding. He's fun to watch. But long-term deals like this have consequences. Ask the Cubs or the Blue Jays. Hell, ask the Phils if they'd like to have the $8M they're paying to Moyer and the long-departed Geoff Jenkins this year. I can think of a pitcher they might have had for that plus the change under the couch cushions.
   144. Hugh Jorgan Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:20 AM (#3515066)
actually on my eye bleeding scale using the term "Kafkaesque" rates high as well. I much prefer the term "DavidFosterWallaceesque" for 2010.

Nice touch....
   145. Obo Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:37 AM (#3515070)
I believe it was a Steve Sax comment (probably in one of the player ratings books) that James argued (no study, just anecdotal evidence) that fast players tend to age well.

James also wrote about this in chapter 3 of the 1987 Abstract, "Evaluating a Rookie". The relevant discussion starts on page 66 in the section "Young Player Skills and Old Player's Skills". He paired up rookies with similar characteristics except that in each case one player hit triples and stole bases and the other one didn't. He then compared the careers of the similar players and found that in 23 of the 36 pairings the player with "young player skills" (i.e. speed) had longer careers. Lots of specifics of the method and results appear in the article.

Obviously Howard isn't a rookie and it would be nice to see a study that started mid-career instead. Surely somebody has done this? Maybe Philadelphia has, and this is the result!
   146. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:53 AM (#3515073)
Didn't all the talk about the stupidity of a hypothetical Howard/Pujols trade give the Phillies a clue that Howard shouldn't be getting Pujols money? Can their respective RBI totals really be disguising that Pujols is far better offensively and defensively at the same position? Not to mention something I often forget--Pujols is actually younger than Howard.
   147. billyshears Posted: April 27, 2010 at 05:23 AM (#3515078)
The 'chip is independent of the conventional (and spot on) contract analysis, but I'm also inclined to agree with Bill Simmons (I loathe most of his other writing) when he says winning the 'chip is a 5 year play on house money for the fans -- moreso perhaps for lone suffering fans like Philly fans.


If a philly fan's mother was standing in the middle of the street holding philly fan's newborn baby, and you rescued the mother and the baby from oncoming traffic, philly fan would scream at you afterwards cause you happened to be wearing an Eric Lindros jersey when you saved their lives, because Eric Lindros was a shithead and only a shithead would wear an Eric Lindros jersey.
   148. Raskolnikov Posted: April 27, 2010 at 05:38 AM (#3515079)
I like that the Phillies locked up Howard for the long term. Gives the enemy a clear identity. I hope they sign Rollins for the long term as well.
   149. Howie Menckel Posted: April 27, 2010 at 05:50 AM (#3515080)
We should revisit this thread years later.

Howard seems like a great guy, but his "old people skills" reek disaster for this contract down the road.
   150. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: April 27, 2010 at 06:23 AM (#3515084)
Beane and Cashman have both been in charge for well over a decade. Theo is likely to clear that mark. Hendry is in his 9th year. O'Dowd is up to 12 years. Towers lasted something like 14 years. Minaya is up to 6 years and has a big extension just beginning to kick in. Ricciardi lasted 9 years, despite not winning a damn thing. Amaro is coming off a World Series appearance, and is an early favorite to go back this year. If he wants the job for 10 years, he'll have the job for 10 years. Coaches have little shot at 10 years with the same team - a decent GM has a good chance to clear that mark.

Sure. Most of those guys who are still in their jobs after 10 years have done well; they're not comparable. And, sure, there are crappy guys who made it 8-10 years, but that includes the years of suckitude that caused them to lose their jobs; in most cases, they parlayed their initial years of success into long-term deals. Ricciardi and Minaya actually are examples *in favor* of Amaro making perverse deals like this.

I think the point was that Amaro really needs to focus on the next 2-4 years, in order to line up an extension that will get him paid for the next 6-10 years. Whether he actually serves (and/or succeeds) for that entire time is his *next* goal.

And, to that end, it makes sense to keep Howard. Amaro was going to have Howard for a couple years anyway. His next contract will be signed before the Howard contract craters. The Phils are flush with cash now, and are trying to move up to the Dodgers/Cubs/Mets tier of big-money teams (and I'm sure Howard's agent held the Phils' management's feet to the fire there); losing Howard (or having the specter of his departure hanging over the team) threatens that ascent.

I guess I'm trying to say that I can see why Amaro would have incentive to sign the crazy deal that Howard's agents demanded, even if it's horrible for the franchise and fanbase down the line.
   151. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: April 27, 2010 at 06:56 AM (#3515086)
Does anybody else remember when the Phillies were drawing cash out of the revenue sharing fund, because they were so crippled by thier "small" market?

Anyway, this deal has potential to be hilarious.
   152. Something Other Posted: April 27, 2010 at 07:03 AM (#3515087)
As a Mets fan I'm pleased by this deal. In the 'building a baseball team' sense it's staggeringly dumb. Like a lot of posters, in addition to however they value "franchise cornerstone" I have to think the Phillies FO hugely overvalue HRs and RBIs. I mean, if you squint just at those two stats and aren't versed in either advanced metrics or age-related decline, Howard easily looks like one of the top five players in the game.
   153. Blackadder Posted: April 27, 2010 at 07:04 AM (#3515088)
Re 145: That honestly sounds like a pretty flimsy study for something that's become almost sabermetric dogma. I remember the Baseball Between the Numbers article on the subject claimed that it wasn't so much as old vs young player skills as that broader based skillsets tended to age better. I am sure there have been better studies since then.

Having said all that, that is still one pretty nasty comp group for Howard. I'd bet any sensible PECOTA-like system would really hate him going forward.
   154. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: April 27, 2010 at 07:11 AM (#3515089)
I'm trying to figure the reasoning behind giving so much money, especially for the final two years, and I can only come up with the idea that ownership thinks Howard will be hitting some historic homers (maybe 500, maybe the phils record) at that point, which helps put fans in the seat.

Yeah, I don't get this one, but Prince and Adrian must be psyched.
   155. drdr Posted: April 27, 2010 at 07:16 AM (#3515090)
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).

10% is average inflation for baseball contracts, but this crisis has stopped that. $/win is currently right around 2006-07 value, maybe even a bit lower. Eventually, in 2-3 years, we may see another rise in baseball contracts, similar to 2000-01, so long-term average will again be around 10%.
Now, clubs that signed players in 2006 and 2007 offseasons expected 10% rise in win value, so those players are probably overpaid even from the point of view of teams at the time they signed those contracts.
Looking at FanGraphs, $/win in 2007 was 4.1M, in 2008 and 2009 around $4.5M, and in 2010 is around $4M. So, Soriano's deal this offseason would be roughly the same as when it was signed.

Also, there is absolutely no proof that teams pay for win on non-linear scale. Superstars just get longer contracts.
As for face-of-the-franchise contract, Griffey's contract is around the maximum. Even when you look at Yankee signings, the only one who wasn't paid based on his win value is Rivera, and he is so much more valuable in postseason that his regular-season value is not really good benchmark.
   156. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: April 27, 2010 at 08:00 AM (#3515096)
I always hate these arguments because five years from now, I won't be able to come back and crow that I was right. Someone should create a site that tracks these things.


longbets.org
   157. drdr Posted: April 27, 2010 at 09:51 AM (#3515100)
Just a quick calculation:
Howard's demonstrated talent level (3-2-1 last 3 years): 4.25 WAR. Players (post-peak) on average decline 0.5 WAR annually. Win value for 2010 is $4M/win. Let's assume 10% increase.
Year WAR M$/win value (M$)
2010 3.75 4.00 15.0
2011 3.25 4.40 14.3
2012 2.75 4.84 13.3
2013 2.25 5.32 12.0
2014 1.75 5.86 10.3
2015 1.25 6.44 08.1
2016 0.75 7.09 05.3
2017 0.25 7.79 01.9

If we assume he hits his demonstrated talent level this year (no decline):
Year WAR M$/win value (M$)
2010 4.25 4.00 17.0
2011 3.75 4.40 16.5
2012 3.25 4.84 15.7
2013 2.75 5.32 14.6
2014 2.25 5.86 13.2
2015 1.75 6.44 11.3
2016 1.25 7.09 08.9
2017 0.75 7.79 05.8

WAR necessary to meet his paycheck:
Year WAR M$/win pay (M$)
2010 4.75 4.00 19
2011 4.55 4.40 20
2012 4.13 4.84 20
2013 3.76 5.32 20
2014 4.27 5.86 25
2015 3.88 6.44 25
2016 3.53 7.09 25
2017 2.95 7.79 23

Basically, Phillies are betting that Howard will either rebound to his 2006 level (6+ WAR), or that he will remain where he is now until 2017 and be very healthy.
   158. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: April 27, 2010 at 10:37 AM (#3515102)
chip

This term makes my corneas bleed.


It's from SLAM magazine and doesn't fit with baseball. Seeing it nestled in with a Simmons concept -- "house money" -- of Phillipsian banality makes my corneas explode.
   159. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 27, 2010 at 11:15 AM (#3515110)
Amaro is an idiot, but you have to understand he was weaned at the ### of the most titanic idiot to run a baseball team in decades:


Let's not get carried away, here. Wade is dumb, but not up to the standard of a guy like Dave Littlefield.

Also, add me to the thumbs-down list on this deal.
   160. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 27, 2010 at 11:19 AM (#3515111)
If you need an example: Ed Wade offered the Pirates Ryan Howard for Kip Wells... and Littlefield turned him down because he didn't want to block Brad Eldred.

That's weapons-grade stupidity, right there.
   161. Ron Johnson Posted: April 27, 2010 at 11:46 AM (#3515117)
#160 Didn't Eldred hurt himself? Back IIRC.

I remember thinking he had a chance to be pretty good. 301/.377/.606 in A+ and AA (OK he was oldish for the league. At least he dominated) and .297/.352/.674 in AA, AAA (part season only but perfectly in line with his previous year) Must have been a sight in right field though.

And while I never understood it myself, Kip Wells was at one time very highly regarded.
   162. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:03 PM (#3515122)
Will someone explain the motivation behind the deal? Because as a business guy all of the factors below work against such a deal:

--The macro economy is still in recovery mode which is a drag on entertainment as it is everywhere
--There was no 'crisis' around Howard's status with the Phillies
--There is a limited market for guys wanting big paychecks
--No business owner wants to inflate the bar for an organization's salary structure. Meaning whatever you pay your top guy then becomes the relative scale for everyone else

I could continue but these are the obvious ones that strike me as reasons to not do this deal or anything close to it.

It's just.......odd.
   163. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:14 PM (#3515124)
Amaro is an idiot
This contract is bad, but the Phillies are a very good and well-run ballclub. The Halladay trade-and-sign was the best move of this offseason, and off the top of my head better than anything last offseason either.
   164. Rally Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:36 PM (#3515135)
Halladay's great, but his VOCL* is nothing special.

*value over Cliff Lee
   165. ColonelTom Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:39 PM (#3515137)
It's just.......odd.

My first thought when I read the numbers on Howard's contract was "Is it April 1?" That can't be a good sign.
   166. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:46 PM (#3515141)
Colonel:

There has to be a back story to this contract. Something.

Because you don't blow up your company payroll and aggravate your peers for no reason. A contract like this has repercussions.
   167. Flynn Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:46 PM (#3515144)
It's from SLAM magazine and doesn't fit with baseball. Seeing it nestled in with a Simmons concept -- "house money" -- of Phillipsian banality makes my corneas explode.

It's an outdated Simmons concept as well, since Simmons wrote recently that he felt it was the wrong idea. Certainly he hasn't been giving the 5 year window to the Celtics with his white-hot hatred of Sheed.

This contract is bad, but the Phillies are a very good and well-run ballclub. The Halladay trade-and-sign was the best move of this offseason, and off the top of my head better than anything last offseason either.

but the Cliff Lee move was terrible.
   168. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:56 PM (#3515147)
There has to be a back story to this contract. Something.

Because you don't blow up your company payroll and aggravate your peers for no reason. A contract like this has repercussions.


Especially two years before you have to to.

Why would you do this with the money rather than keep Lee for an extra year, and resign Werth? Worth's no older than Howard and certainly won't get much more than $10M p.a.

The 4 picks from Lee/Howard would have gone a long way to replenish the farm.
   169. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: April 27, 2010 at 12:59 PM (#3515148)
There has to be a back story to this contract. Something.


This seems like something ownership must have pushed, right? It's something we should take into consideration when we assess gm's. GM's, at the end of the day, aren't the boss.
   170. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 27, 2010 at 01:04 PM (#3515152)
I can't see Howard lasting long enough to eclipse Schmidt's homer record. And by what measure is Schmidt not an inner-circle HOF player? He led his league in homers 8 times, walks 4 times, OPS+ 6 times, won 10 Gold Gloves, 3 MVPs and is the best third baseman of all-time! Some people must still be hung up on BA.

Of course this is a retarded contract. The fact the the Phillies even entertained the idea of an extension before this coming off-season is idiotic, its not like Howard is currently underpaid. Put me on record as saying this will be regarded as the 2nd-worst contract of all-time (nobody will ever beat Mike Hampton's).
   171. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: April 27, 2010 at 01:57 PM (#3515198)
On a site like this, it's certainly a bad contract. However, for the average Phillies fan who is pleased with their teams performance over the last few years, this is simply throwing red-meat to the masses.

If they were going to do this, they should have done in the off-season to help take the sting out of not resigning Cliff Lee and to try to bolster season ticket sales.

Then again, you have to wonder if management had gone to Howard in November and said "we'd like to sign you to an extension, and we think our team would really be something special with you, Lee and Halladay leading this team thru 2015."

Edited cause I can't spel or do grammer.
   172. DL from MN Posted: April 27, 2010 at 01:57 PM (#3515199)
Ok, so the paid him more than he's worth on and off the field. It's a bad deal for the club -- we all get it.

That said, the Phillies won a 'chip and just locked up their most marketable player


I was reading the other day about how people make terrible economic decisions when they're happy and when they're angry. Put this into the "when they're happy" bucket.
   173. Sean Forman Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:05 PM (#3515206)
On a site like this, it's certainly a bad contract. However, for the average Phillies fan who is pleased with their teams performance over the last few years, this is simply throwing red-meat to the masses.


The Inquirer was loving it this morning, but even Phil Sheridan recognized that the statheads weren't going to like it at all.
   174. ColonelTom Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:12 PM (#3515211)
For those of you that can get behind the BPro pay wall, Matt Swartz's take on the Howard deal is here. In short, he thinks the deal isn't horrible - if salary inflation heads toward 10% (he's banking in part on elimination of comp picks in the post-2011 CBA to drive this) and Howard ages like Thome rather than Fielder, it'll be a decent deal for the Phils. That's a lot of "ifs," though. He also points out that players who re-sign with their teams on major extensions, on average, fare better than their PECOTA comps, and attributes that to selection bias (teams are better than a coin flip at evaluating whether their own players will age well).

Even if you accept all of that, Howard was under team control through 2011, and they didn't get a dime of discount off the likely FA price for taking on additional risk. I can't see for the life of me why the Phils couldn't have looked at this with another year of data and injury possibilities behind them.
   175. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:16 PM (#3515216)
Just to throw this in...I hope Howard proves us all wrong. He's one of the more fun "classic" sluggers we've ever come across.
   176. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:23 PM (#3515223)
Did anyone actually say (or even imply) that Schmidt isn't inner circle? He's in the second list in Kiko's post (120) because he is not one of the "6 players (who) have hit more than 329 home runs from age 30 onward" but instead is among the small group of players who fell just short of what Howard will have to do to break Schmidt's record.

And on a related note, I guess Frank Robinson really was washed up at 30 after all.
   177. McCoy Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:25 PM (#3515225)
I'm thinking signing Howard to a long term deal this offseason would have brought in a negligible return on season ticket purchases. They have been to the World Series twice now, won it once, have a brand new ballpark, just got Doc, and have Howard already under contract for the 2010 season. Really, is anyone really sitting there in February holding out on buying a season ticket for 2010 until they know that Ryan Howard will have a Phillies contract for 2014? If doing all the things I just listed doesn't sell season tickets I don't think anything will.
   178. ColonelTom Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:34 PM (#3515236)
Aren't they averaging crowds over 100% of seating capacity as it is? How many more tickets can they sell?

I'm waiting for the articles in the 2013 offseason in which the Phils say they can't compete without a new stadium.
   179. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:38 PM (#3515241)
120. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:04 PM (#3514865)

Doubtful. Howard would need 329 home runs from here on out (say 33 per year from ages 30 to 39). I doubt more than a handful of players in history have done that in their 30's: McGwire did it of course, but we all know...well yeah.


Unless somebody else has done it in the last couple of seasons, I think 6 players have hit more than 329 home runs from age 30 onward. Basically, the list is inner-circle all-time great home-run hitters and/or steroid users: Bonds, Ruth, Palmeiro, Aaron, Mays, and McGwire. Sosa's 7th (315) before you get to non-inner circle non-steroid suspect guys: Schmidt (313), Stargell (310), Reggie Jackson (309), and Andres Gallaraga (302).
121. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 26, 2010 at 09:27 PM (#3514895)

Sosa's 7th (315) before you get to non-inner circle non-steroid suspect guys: Schmidt (313), Stargell (310), Reggie Jackson (309), and Andres Gallaraga (302).

You don't consider Schmidt inner circle? If not inner, than on the cusp.


To me, if he's on the cusp of inner-circle, the inner circle only holds about 10 players.
   180. Baldrick Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:38 PM (#3515243)
WTF does 'chip mean? It sure sounds obnoxious.

As for laying down a prediction for coming back and checking in five years, I'll be bold and guess that this is going to end up being a brutal contract.
   181. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:48 PM (#3515252)
The Inquirer was loving it this morning, but even Phil Sheridan recognized that the statheads weren't going to like it at all.

True, in his usual baiting manner:

This kind of talk galls those who worship the almighty stat to the exclusion of all else. Howard's entire career rattles their cages, which is one more reason to enjoy his work. The advanced stats prove that Howard isn't as productive, on a hard drive somewhere, as several dozen other players.
Sheridan's gotta be one of the worst writers that I don't see linked here.
   182. The District Attorney Posted: April 27, 2010 at 03:00 PM (#3515265)
I can't believe Kiko thinks Palmeiro is "inner circle" and Schmidt is not... not sure what he was getting at there, the wording is confused. I do know that it's ultimately a purely semantic discussion depending entirely on how you want to define the term "inner circle."
   183. JPWF13 Posted: April 27, 2010 at 03:12 PM (#3515277)
And while I never understood it myself, Kip Wells was at one time very highly regarded.


he threw very hard once upon a time

If you need an example: Ed Wade offered the Pirates Ryan Howard for Kip Wells... and Littlefield turned him down because he didn't want to block Brad Eldred.


want another dumb and dumber routine?
Steve Phillips offered David Wright to Toronto for Preston Wilson, JP Ricciardo said, "no, why would I trade 100 RBI for a guy I never heard of?"
   184. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 27, 2010 at 03:24 PM (#3515289)
...not sure what he was getting at there...

How about this:

...inner-circle all-time great home-run hitters...

The distinction he's drawing between the two groups is about their home run hitting prowess, not their overall standing in the baseball pantheon. So if you want to argue with his position, argue about what he actually wrote instead of pretending that he doesn't believe in positional adjustments or some such nonsense.

And WRT Palmiero, I think it's safe to assume that he would fall under the "or steroid users" part of Kiko's post. The wording is not confused; the reading is.
   185. The District Attorney Posted: April 27, 2010 at 03:26 PM (#3515290)
Sorry I offended you.
   186. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 27, 2010 at 03:33 PM (#3515298)
Aren't they averaging crowds over 100% of seating capacity as it is? How many more tickets can they sell?

To the extent there is any economic justification, my guess is that the Phillies hope to see an increase in TV ratings and the dollars that go with them. Perhaps they believe Howard would help make them the Yankees of the National League, and boost revenues across the board, but it still seems like a bit of an overpay.
   187. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 27, 2010 at 03:33 PM (#3515300)
[185] You didn't. It just didn't seem like a big argument about Mike Schmidt's inner circle status was called for on the basis of what Kiko actually wrote. It is obvious to me from his post that he was not saying that Palmiero is inner circle and Schmidt is not. Now, he may very well think that (whether we can believe it of him or not), but he didn't say it.
   188. McCoy Posted: April 27, 2010 at 03:38 PM (#3515307)
When do the Phillies TV contract end? I believe it ends in 2014 so this signing does nothing in terms of adding revenue to the Phillies via tv ratings. They are already getting paid over the life Howards contract. I guess technically they would get some added revenue since they own a third of the network but that is a really weird way to add revenue. Basically Howard has to add something like 50 to 75 million dollars in yearly PROFITS via TV just for the Phillies to break even.
   189. The District Attorney Posted: April 27, 2010 at 03:46 PM (#3515319)
You didn't.
Great! Can I ask a little favor, then? In the future, if I don't offend you in a post, please don't respond to it by using the words "pretending" or "nonsense", or by disparaging my reading comprehension skills. Thanks in advance!
   190. Win one for Agrippa (haplo53) Posted: April 27, 2010 at 03:48 PM (#3515321)
want another dumb and dumber routine?
Steve Phillips offered David Wright to Toronto for Preston Wilson, JP Ricciardo said, "no, why would I trade 100 RBI for a guy I never heard of?"


I thought it was Jose Cruz Jr...
   191. Steve M. Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:03 PM (#3515342)
I'll echo the sentiment that this is a horrible, oddly-timed, unnecessary contract for a one-dimensional player who is unlikely to age well. That's pretty much a given.

What I don't agree with, however, is that this establishes a precedent or standard for Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez. One foolish contract is exactly that... one foolish contract. Obviously the Cardinals are going to have to pony up a massive contract for Pujols, but that was widely understood before any of this. However, there is clearly an upper limit, beyond which no team is going to venture. Maybe Pujols gets $28-30 in AAV. But no one is going to get into a bidding war above that, because it's just not prudent to invest that heavily in a player's (supposed) age 32-?? seasons.

On the other hand, who is going to pay ~$25 mil for Gonzalez or Prince? Certainly not the Phillies, Padres, Cardinals, or Brewers. Probably not the Yankees or Dodgers. Mets? Perhaps. Red Sox? I can't see it. If the agent for Prince Fielder shops Ryan Howard's contract as the standard for his client, a GM is going to retort that it's exactly the type of deal his team wants to avoid, because conceivably the Howard contract could look bad before it even begins. I can't imagine Scott Boras shops Barry Zito's contract as an example for his client... it's just a bad thing to associate with. I could be completely wrong, but when we dig this thread up in two years I'll predict Pujols contract will be substantially less than A-Rod's current deal and that both Gonzalez and Prince settle for less than Teixeira's deal.
   192. deputydrew Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:22 PM (#3515359)
Two observations from me:
(i) - Howard really has lost a lot of weight. I have to look twice when I see him on SportsCenter at the gym, as he looks like a completely different guy.
(ii) - Howard looked really, really bad in the 2009 World Series. Small sample size and good competition, but wow.

Ok. Here's a third. I'm glad my team isn't paying this contract. I do enjoy watching Howard play and I hope he does well. He seems to enjoy the game and has obviously worked hard to get into better shape in what I assume is an effort to play it both better and longer.
   193. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:26 PM (#3515364)
I could see this contract ending up like Todd Helton's, where by the end of it Howard is clearly not worth the annual salary, but he's also not someone the team needs to replace. The Zito contract looks like it might be headed for that space as well.
   194. RJ in TO Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:32 PM (#3515367)
Steve Phillips offered David Wright to Toronto for Preston Wilson, JP Ricciardo said, "no, why would I trade 100 RBI for a guy I never heard of?"

1) It was Jose Cruz Jr, not Preston Wilson.
2) At the time, the Jays had just added Hinske as their ROY 3B solution
3) David Wright was only in rookie ball

That's not to say that, looking back, it was a smart move, but it was certainly defensible at the time.
   195. Ron Johnson Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:33 PM (#3515371)
#191 I've said it often enough. Other people's errors should not bind you.

That said if you aren't prepared to use Howard's contract as a benchmark for directly comparable players (like Fielder) you will lose them.
   196. McCoy Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:35 PM (#3515374)
You'll only lose them if somebody is using the contract as a benchmark and I don't see anyone else needing a fat firstbasemen at the 25 million dollar range or even Adrian. Who is going to be in a position to spend that kind of money on a firstbasemen?
   197. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:40 PM (#3515380)
I can't believe Kiko thinks Palmeiro is "inner circle" and Schmidt is not... not sure what he was getting at there, the wording is confused. I do know that it's ultimately a purely semantic discussion depending entirely on how you want to define the term "inner circle."


Since I was mentioned by name, I'll just say that #187 is exactly right. Palmeiro's not inner-circle, he's a (alleged) steroid user (McGwire's also not "inner-circle" generically, although he probably is an "inner-circle home run hitter"). I can go either way on Schimdt. He's "inner circle" generically, but I wouldn't think of him as an "inner-circle home run hitter", but I could see the argument for it. Sorry for the confusion.
   198. John DiFool2 Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:58 PM (#3515401)
A guy 14th on the home run list (and, I'll point out, 7th when he retired), who lead his league in home runs EIGHT times (in leagues with low overall homer rates), isn't an "inner circle home run hitter"? Really? Or is there some subtlety here that I'm missing?
   199. DL from MN Posted: April 27, 2010 at 05:00 PM (#3515405)
Isn't the presence of Fielder and Gonzalez reason enough not to sign Howard to this extension? There's always going to be another power hitting 1B willing to take the money they just gave Ryan Howard. I think they forgot how they came up with Ryan Howard in the first place.
   200. ColonelTom Posted: April 27, 2010 at 05:02 PM (#3515409)
Keith Law on ESPN.com:
If you sign a player two years before he hits free agency, you're supposed to get a discount. Instead, the Phillies paid a premium, giving Howard more money to cover years when he won't produce nearly enough value to justify the salary.

This is what gets to me about Amaro. He loves cost certainty so much that he's regularly willing to pay a hefty premium, both in dollars and years above market value, to achieve it, even when he has the upper hand in negotiation (as he did here, with Howard under contract for this year and next, and multiple alternatives likely to be on the market in 2011). He's a good GM otherwise, but when the premium goes well into eight digits, it'll come back to bite you.
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