Ryan Howard Signs Five-Year Extension

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard signed a five-year, $125MM extension, according to CSN's Jim Salisbury.  The deal includes a $23MM option for 2017 with a $10MM buyout.  Howard is currently under contract through 2011, so the extension runs from 2012 through 2016.  AOL FanHouse's Ed Price tweets the yearly salaries, noting that there is a limited no-trade clause.  Hot stove junkies won't be seeing Howard join Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and Adrian Gonzalez in the 2012 free agent class.

Howard is in his age 30 season, so the contract begins with his age 32 season.  The length makes this an unnecessary risk, and at $25MM a year the Phillies didn't get a discount for taking the gamble and locking him up two years before free agency.  Tip of the cap to agent Casey Close, who negotiated the deal. 

Back in '08 Howard set a first-time arbitration record with a $10MM salary.  A year later he signed a three-year, $54MM extension to buy out his remaining arbitration years.  The Phillies clearly like to lock up their guys.

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