The Howard Deal

Thumbnail image for howard large.jpgA couple quick thoughts about Ryan Howard‘s five-year, $125 million contract extension before I leave my hotel for AT&T Park:

- It’s a lot of money, and I’ve heard from more than a few Phillies fans wondering if it’s too much money considering Howard will be 36 when the deal ends in 2016 … 37 if the club option is picked up for 2017. It certainly might be. It might not be. Who knows? But one thing to ask is this: do the risks of a $125 million committment outweigh losing Howard after 2011? Sure, the Phillies would have loved to have signed Howard to a three-year, $75 million extension (or something more team-friendly). They would have loved it. But Howard never would have signed it. He knew a big payday awaited him, and he would have taken it. It seems the Phillies had one of two choices: sign Howard to a big deal, or let him walk after 2011. (And then we’d get to hear from Phillies fans about how cheap the Phillies are, how they’re not the Yankees, whine, cliche, moan, etc.) So pick one: Howard gets a big payday with obvious risks (see Mo Vaughn), or he’s gone after next season. If you’d rather see him leave, hey, I understand that. But I don’t believe there would have been a middle ground (i.e. an overly club-friendly contract.) Of course, why sign him now? Couldn’t they have waited to see what happened with Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez? We’ll ask Ruben Amaro Jr. that in a few.

- I’ve gotten the sense recently that the Phillies think they can sign Jayson Werth to a contract extension. It might be because they realize they have to have at least one right-handed bat in the middle of their lineup. But I don’t think today’s deal means Werth is gone. Now, if Werth wants a five-year, $100 million deal, yeah, the Phillies probably won’t sign him to something like that. But if it’s a fair deal — the Roy Halladay, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins contract extensions seemed to work out for both parties — then I see a chance at Werth sticking around. They could use him, too.

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I will be signing copies of my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, &The Ugly” beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Barnes & Noble in Rittenhouse Square. I’ll also be signing books beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Citizens Bank Park. The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

8 Comments

I personally don’t see Howard holding up $25 mil AAV worth of production well into his 30s. But let’s assume that you’re right, and that it’s probable that he does. Why make this deal now, instead of waiting and seeing? Would his price have gone up from $25 mil before 2011? I just don’t see it.

Agree with phylan, please see my post under the last topic.

I’ll be at the next 3 games, if I see you at the park Todd, I’ll say hello!

this is a great deal for the phils. but everyone is saying what about jayson werth? i assumed he’d be gone. i am asking, WHAT ABOUT JIMMY ROLLINS?????

Please explain to me how is it that Amero justify this deal after passing up on signing Lee? Is a K-prone, streaky slugger of greater value to this team than an ace like Cliff Lee, especially when combined with the talents of Halliday? I don’t get this at all.

If the Phils fail to at least win the pennant for next three years, at least we’ll know why.

Another Cliff Lee comment – and that makes TEN THOUSAND STRAIGHT DAYS we’ve heard about trading Cliff Lee. Enough already.

I just watched the Rays pound Toronto. That team is young and talented and could easily be the best team in baseball. Don’t be surprised if your general manager, yet again, pulls off a deadline trade to bolster the pitching staff.

Another snide comment to a Cliff Lee comment. Enough already!

I am completely on muleman’s side when it comes to being fed up with whiney comments about Cliff Lee not being on the team. Forget the injury for a moment. When Lee threw that 95 mph fastball right at the head of the D-Backs catcher, he stopped being a character guy. He fully wanted to kill that guy for giving him a serious injury in a stupid Cactus League game. The anger was justified; the response was unacceptible. His suspension was rescinded, so MLB just gave the green light for a pitcher to take off a hitter’s head in retaliation for that hitter injuring them. Nice policy.

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