3:53pm: Jayson Stark chimes in, stating that the Phillies can trade Howard, without penalty, after Nov. 1, 2010. If traded before that date, Howard will receive an extra $1MM. Doesn't sound like too much of a penalty to any team seriously looking at acquiring him.
2:35pm: Joel Sherman has the numbers: Howard will earn $15MM in 2009, $19MM in 2010, and $20MM in 2011. The base salaries for 2010 and 2011 will increase by $1MM if Howard wins the MVP award in the season prior, and $500K if he finishes second in the voting. He will earn $100K for any Gold Gloves, World Series MVPs, Silver Sluggers, or All-Star Game starts he receives. He'll get $50K if he's selected to the All-Star game or wins the LCS MVP.
11:14am: Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports the Phillies have agreed to a 3-year, $54MM deal with Ryan Howard today.
This meets Howard's record arbitration submission of $18MM. The Phillies had submitted $14MM but apparently are fine paying the extra $4MM for the next three years. The two parties would've gone before an arbitration panel sometime in the coming week.
This buys out Howard for the remainder of his arbitration-eligible period, through 2011. As of now, it's unclear how the contract breaks down.