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Ryan Howard Gets $900K

A reader recently wrote:

Could you guys comment on the Ryan Howard contract?  He was signed today for 900k.  I know he’s only in his second full year, but that seems cheap for a 50+ HR guy.  I guess I’m unsure of his arbitration status, I assume he is not eligible and this contract is just a sign of good faith?

It is a sign of good faith; the salary ties Albert Pujols for the largest ever for a guy with less than two years service time.  Howard is not yet eligible for arbitration, though the Phils have talked about signing him to a long-term deal to cover those years.  The Phillies had no obligation to pay Howard more than the minimum salary of $380K.  Plenty of young guys earn $400K or less (Scott Kazmir, Robinson Cano, and Garrett Atkins come to mind).

As MLB.com's Ken Mandel says, Howard had no leverage.  Just like when he had his agent, Larry Reynolds, demand a trade from the Phillies in the spring of 2005, when he had less than 30 days Major League service time but was blocked by Jim Thome.  (That article actually talked about moving Howard to left field - ha!)  Howard later fired Reynolds (Harold's brother) in favor of Casey Close.


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If I were Ryan Howard I'd go elsewhere just to spite them.

$900K is sad considering it's only $150K more than Miguel Cairo is getting this year.

Considering they didn't have to give him a penny over 380K, I wouldn't be to shook up over it if I were him. He will get his in the near future, just like everyone else has had to wait

Spite? What are you talking about, the Phils are being kind. They didn't have to agree with this. They could have waited another year just for arbitration. Hell, Howard is still 4 years? 3 years? from any chance of free agency.

"If I were Ryan Howard I'd go elsewhere just to spite them."

Uh, like where? I applaud the Phillies for not overpaying him grossly when they didn't have to. They'll overpay him in 2009 or 2010, but at least we get 2007 at a big discount.

mretzloff you do realize that 900K ties for the most any player with his experience has ever received (tied with Albert Pujiols)?

I hate when idiots like this make comments without knowing anything about the major league salary structure.

Does anyone know of a site where I can find salary figures for PRE-ARBITRATION PLAYERS (no, Cot's Contracts and Hardball Dollars DO NOT have this information).

thebaseballcube.com has salary data for everyone but you have to look player by player.

heard about the tori hunter stuff?

speculation hairston linked to that steriod bust

I am trying to decide about what the extent of my steroid coverage should be here.

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