Ryan Howard Extension Reactions

The Phillies signed slugger Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125MM extension today.  The contract begins with the 2012 season and includes a 2017 option and a limited no-trade clause.  At $25MM per year, Howard's deal ranks third in baseball history for average annual value.  Unsurprisingly, the megadeal has not been well-received by analysts…

100 Responses to Ryan Howard Extension Reactions Leave a Reply

  1. Boz 5 years ago

    the fact that Heyman is the only one that likes this deal speaks volumes about how horrible it is

    • hogie2704 5 years ago

      Uhhh, who has more rbis and homers than Ryan Howard since he has been the starter? A-rod? no Albert? no. NOBODY does. The contract was market value. Is that one idiot saying this contract is worse than Vernon Wells, Barry Zito’s, or Soriano’s?

      • Boz 5 years ago

        RBI (not RBIs) is a team stat. you are pretty much saying that Howard deserves all that money because Rollins, Utley and Victorino are able to get on base before he bats.

        • Boz 5 years ago

          …and while he does hit homeruns you are comparing him to two players that are very different than him. Howard is a one dimensional player. he plays a weak position and only offers power. where as a player like Arod offers a prime position (SS or 3B) and offers speed as well as AVG. same thing with Pujols. while Pujols also plays 1B he offers more in respect to being an all around player than Howard does.

  2. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    if howard gets about 140 million until he’s 36 over 6 years ( im counting next year), pujols will probably get 28mill/yr…but how many years….hymm

  3. The question is who’s stupider? Ruben Amaro Jr or Jon Heyman.

    • Tough call.

      • Boz 5 years ago

        I say Heyman.
        Ruben has made some good decisions in the past

        • Like trading Cliff Lee?

          • Boz 5 years ago

            I said some. the team did win a WS not too long ago and tried to repeat last year.
            I agree the Lee move also falls under the stupid moves category tho.

          • Mickeyblue 5 years ago

            And then signing Joe Blanton

    • melonis_rex 5 years ago

      I say Ruben. Heyman’s only job is to talk about baseball.

  4. $1529282 5 years ago

    How can Heyman (or anyone), even if they think Howard will continue to perform at his current level for the next five years (which won’t happen), think that this is “just about right?”

    Ryan Howard is NOT a $25MM player. Oh my goodness Ruben Amaro… what on Earth are you thinking?

  5. daro11 5 years ago

    they will regret it… big money for a DH…

  6. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    im just curious, with an annual 25million/yr salary, does that make howard’s extension the third largest contract per AAV? only behind the 2 A-rod deals. just wondering.

  7. Andrew Jones 5 years ago

    Who is to say what a 25 mil player will be in 2014? By then it might look a lot more reasonable. I still think it is a bit high, but he is Ryan Howard, you have to pay him, or somebody else will.

    • Not 5/125.

    • Boz 5 years ago

      Howard is not a 25M/year player now tho

    • You’re being incredibly naive if you think Howard would have commanded anywhere near 5/125 on the open market with Gonzalez, Fielder and Pujols out there. Sorry.

    • strikethree 5 years ago

      Are you saying we’re heading into hyper inflation?

      Maybe :-)

      Yes, you’re right anything can happen. But think: the contract is unreasonable NOW. Remember, it’s not just about 2014. There are many years leading up to that year. (At 25 mil a year)

      At the present, he could have been signed for much less. (If not, then don’t capitulate to his unreasonable demands) Instead of 25 mil for year 2014, it could have been 18 mil or whatever. There are plenty of good/acceptable first basemen — many make it to FA every year. If this guy was Hanley, then I would agree.

      This deal is stupid. No matter what happens in 2014.

    • Mercenary480 5 years ago

      Yes the years are lower, but he’s making more money than Teixiera per year now(not sure about it, i jus took the average value of Tex’s 8/180 which is 22.5M)… And if you think he’s a better all around player than Tex you are sadly mistaken…. Thats what makes this contract rediculous

      (No Im not a Yankee fan… Just stating facts…)

      • Mercenary480 5 years ago

        Addition… The Yanks also overpaid to get him… Which they are able to do because of their financial resources… The question is, with this 25M a Yr, the 20M a Yr to Halladay, thats 45M locked into 2 players, do you think the phillies can put together a great team locking lets say 1/3 of their payroll into 2 players.

        STL is going to be in the same boat soon, Holliday making 17M and Pujols set to use this contract as a way to make MUCH more than he would have…. STL could easily have 47M locked into 2 players.

  8. cbcbcb 5 years ago

    Maybe the Phillies think the NL will go to the DH in the near future?

    • Just_MLB 5 years ago

      hmmmm….u might be onto something…there is a new CBA due after 2011….

      • Just_MLB 5 years ago

        and the union would love nothing more than to create 15 more jobs…tradition be damned

  9. Nothing like giving out open market money when you’re the only team bidding.

    • Pavilionbum 5 years ago

      Exactly what I was thinking. $125mm/5 was probably the max on Howard, so I don’t see why the Phillies weren’t willing to take their chances on the market.

  10. The DH comments are unwarranted as Howard has actually become a league average first baseman defensively but I agree with the overall sentiment I’m seeing. It’s ridiculous that Philly would pay 25 million per year for 5 years when they could have waited and walked away with one of Howard, Fielder, Pujols (long shot), Pena, etc for much much less. As a braves fan this deal makes me very happy because though he’ll continue to be a feared middle of the order bat for the near future, age has not treated comparable players well (look at david ortiz) and philly locked themselves into paying him upwards of 25 million for those years

    • Forgot Adrian Gonzalez too, further proving my point

      • Andrew Jones 5 years ago

        Yeah, sucks to be a Phillies fan when you could have a bargain like Troy Glaus as your first baseman.

        • Did I ever once say anything about atlanta’s first base situation? Didn’t think so. Obviously I’d much prefer Howard to Glaus, who wouldn’t; however, the braves don’t have the funds to go out and drop 25 million on a first baseman. However Freddie Freeman is probably a better bet at a cost of roughly 25 million over the next 5-6 years compared to 125 million, allowing the braves to make up the difference in 1B production at other positions with the money they save by having a cheap, young 1B

          • Andrew Jones 5 years ago

            I was just kidding on that. Its just funny how fans of rival teams act like this is good news for them. Maybe it just means the Phillies are willing to spend what it takes to keep their home-grown core intact. I did not celebrate when Santana signed with the Mets, though that might turn in to an albatross contract. Great players get paid lots of money.

          • well when you add this to deals like Blanton, Ibanez, etc then you start to see a cumulative effect where the phillies have a high amount of money tied into a very small number of players. No im not happy that they have a superstar core which howard helps comprise but deals like these mean goodbye to guys like cliff lee (already gone) and in the near future jayson werth

          • bflaff 5 years ago

            Nick, the problem with constantly trying to be ‘efficient’ and replace actual production from expensive talent with as much cheap options as possible is that eventually you still have to spend money somewhere to get a stud. The people on here seem to think the number of people in the whole of baseball who should get paid is less than 5 (actually it might be just Pujols), so where’s the production going to come from? Stat heads want to save money at every position around the diamond… to use on what, exactly? You don’t get a ring for getting the biggest marginal return.

          • I never advocated pocketing the money as the more attractive option but rather leveraging the free agent 1B against each other when that FA class’s contracts expire would have allowed them to save money to possibly re-sign a Jayson Werth or pick up more quality pitching. It’s an overpay because you could have gotten Howard or a more than capable replacement (fielder, gonzalez, etc) for a lesser price and used the difference to make improvements elsewhere. Ultimately you’re right, the money should be spent, but why it was all spent on Howard is beyond me

  11. diehardmets 5 years ago

    Thank you for taking a huge chunk of your payroll in two players that will likely decline (Howard and Halladay) for the next couple years. ;D

    Disclaimer: It wouldn’t surprise me if Halladay doesn’t decline, but I am relatively sure Howard will.

    • Andrew Jones 5 years ago

      How do you feel about Santana’s contract?

      • diehardmets 5 years ago

        Much less risky than Howard, but not as solid as Haladay’s.

        • Ferrariman 5 years ago

          halladay’s deal is up when he is 35. santana runs through until he is over 36. not much of a difference i know, but santana has already had 3 operations done on his elbow, albeit minor ones.

          • diehardmets 5 years ago

            I said not as solid as Halladay’s….

    • aap212 5 years ago

      You should just criticize the Howard contract. I’m a Mets fan and I envy the Halladay deal.

      • diehardmets 5 years ago

        I’m not criticizing it I’m saying that it’s a huge chunck of payroll invested in two players.

  12. alxn 5 years ago

    I don’t see how anyone can say this is a good deal, let alone someone being paid to be a baseball analyst by a high profile company. What was the rush? What did the Phillies have to lose by waiting? It’s not like there was going to be a huge bidding war to pay Howard this much money. The Phillies have nothing to gain from this.

    • bflaff 5 years ago

      Maybe players are human beings who like job security, and play better when they can relax and focus on their game. And maybe this impacts the team in a positive way, when everyone knows they’re going to be together for a while.

  13. They probably over payed, but not by as much as people think, averaging over 40 homeruns per year since 2006, 140 rbi basically all those years, batting around .270. Those are incredible numbers. You deserve alot of money for stats like that, if the phillise didn’t pay it, someone else would. He should be getting around 19 million or 20. I think the years is the worst part though.

    • Please don’t tell me you just tried to pass off his average as a salient point for the contract. *Facepalm. A lot of “old-school ignorance” going on as Neyer pointed out, even in this talkback. The best part of it all is that even the Phillies organization doesn’t realise that Chase Utley is their best player.

      • I would have to agree with Utley as their best player. He’s just a fantastic player

      • if the phillies value howard at 25 million per season then utley should eclipse a-rod’s current annual value at the minimum. He’s the third best player in the national league, possibly second, right there with Hanley and Pujols when factoring in positional value. Superb fielder (how he hasn’t won a gold glove is beyond me) and one of the best hitting second basemen of all time who looks like he’ll age well. If the Phillies wanted to hand out a megadeal it should have been chase on the receiving end

      • nhsox 5 years ago

        Since you made a couple comments on RBI being a complete waste and you alluded to “old-school ignorance” I have a question: why exactly are RBIs “”completely” useless. The game is measured by runs, isn’t it? People get paid to produce, don’t they? I haven’t been able to find a particularly good explanation for why people feel this way. It seems that many just regurgitate what they hear Keith Law and others say. Can you help me with this? You seem to feel passionately about new school stats, and I’d really like a decent answer.

        • RBI is an opportunity not skill stat. RBI’s are a good measure of how many chances you had with runners in scoring position but do little to measure how effective were you in those opportunities. A ground out that scores a run counts for 1 RBI as does a solo homer or a double with a man scoring, but would you really value the ground out the same? RBIs aren’t worthless but must be used with other stats to assess its validity in each individual case. Also clutch hitting (BA w/RISP) has such a great variance from year to year for players that it’s ridiculous to qualify a player as an “RBI man.”

    • strikethree 5 years ago

      Who else has the funds to pay Howard?

      The Yankees are out. The Tigers are out. The Mets are out (I’ll assume Davis is for real). The Cubs are out. The Angels are out. The Red Sox? They want Agon or Fielder.

      The point is: 1st base is a very common position in the market and a lot of teams have good players there already. This deal is nonsense.

      • jwredsox 5 years ago

        if the sox sign fielder in the future I will run through the streets in my birthday suit.

      • sacu 5 years ago

        Wow! Assuming Davis is for real after a couple games, that’s ballsy.

  14. ellisd19830 5 years ago

    as a brewers fan this sucks… what will the much younger prince want now…. i think howard just priced out prince for the crew….

  15. cubs223425 5 years ago

    If anything, this contract REALLY should have waited. Howard’s value is in direct proportion to Pujols. If Albert gets $30, then Howard’s about $20-25. His value wouldn’t really go up from this. HOWEVER, they could have waited 1-2 years and them given him less when (or if, I guess) his production drops in his early/mid-30s.

    This deal isn’t the new worst one in the game, but it’s pretty darned bad.

  16. jwredsox 5 years ago

    Not a fan of this deal. Just hope he ages better than other lefty sluggers (I’d say Ortiz but that would just cue the cries of HGH).

  17. RichMahogany 5 years ago

    Unless the whole team takes a nosedive, Howard will probably give the Phillies a lot of years like 2008, in which he led the league in HR and RBI, came in second in MVP voting, and had a good but not elite 124 OPS+. I suppose the Phillies can live with that at $25 million per. Casual fans look at 140+ RBI and think the player is God’s gift to the team, even if a better hitter would have driven in even more runs.

    I bet the reaction in Philadelphia to this deal is overwhelmingly positive and will remain so for much of its duration, even if it’s objectively a stupid contract.

    • aap212 5 years ago

      No one in Philadelphia has ever been overwhelmingly positive about anything. That’s not how they roll.

  18. Forget writer reaction, I can’t wait to see John Mozeliak’s reaction.

  19. Alldaybaseball 5 years ago

    Wow, Pena would have been cheaper and less years with similar production. Overpaid.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      pena is also 3 years older. just saying.

    • sacu 5 years ago

      although not a fan of howard, philly or this contract; i would have to disagree with you on that one. Cheaper, yes; similar production, no way. BTW- Pena is only 18 months older, just sayin’.

  20. Mercenary480 5 years ago

    Ill give them the right time for Years… 5 Years for Howard seems alot less risky then the 8 for Holliday or the 5 for Bay(the options too easy from what i heard to not vest)…

    But the Dollars are way up there… I expected Pujols to use Tex as framework for his contract with STL, and since Pujols is a bit better, but gotta cut out the Yankee inflation… Pujols can get close to 30M… but dont mention Tex at all, just Mention this contract and the fact that Pujols is so much better than howard…. Pujols will walk away with 40M a year…

    • bjsguess 5 years ago

      — Holliday’s contract has a team option for year 8. It automatically vests if he places in the Top 10 for the MVP award in 2016. He has accomplished that task exactly once in his career. And honestly, if he does finish in the top 10 I’m sure the Cards will be happy to take him on a 1/$17m deal.

      — Jason Bay’s option year will vest with 600 PA’s in 2013 OR with at least 500 PA’s in both 2012 and 2013. That means, he will need to start about 145 games/year. Bay has been healthy so far, but it’s hard to predict how he will hold up 3 years from now. I wouldn’t consider either option as really easy to get.

      — No way Pujols gets $40m. Topping what A-Rod got will be a huge challenge considering that everyone outside of NY thinks the guy is overpaid. $30m (+/- $2m) over 8 years would be a reasonable place to start. Depending on how the market looks those numbers might go up or down a little.

    • Mercenary480 5 years ago

      I was kidding on 40M a year… I dont think its possible for any player to make that much… but if Ryan Howard can make 25M, Pujols SHOULD make 40…

      Okay 7 for Holliday is still alot… and if bay just needs 500PAs, he just needs 125-130 games in both 2012 and 2013… That doesnt mean he needs to be productive… just needs the atbats

  21. Nicolas_C 5 years ago

    This contract is just a joke. I couldn’t see Howard turning down 5 years 100 mil at this point. If he did turn down such a deal, it’s only because he knows the Phillies front office is extremely foolish. Howard’s numbers are inflated because of the people who bat in front and behind him and because of the ballpark he plays in, that’s inarguable. He’s not a complete enough player to get this kind of money, he’s just a homerun hitter that plays OK defense.

  22. bjsguess 5 years ago

    The overpay is steep. No question about it.

    There are only a couple of likely scenarios with how this can play out.

    — Howard performs at the same level for the next 2 years. He posts an OPS of around 925. He continues to be roughly league average defensively. He doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. LIKELIHOOD: Decent, but not great. RESULT: You wait until mid-year 2012. You offer him today’s deal. If he doesn’t take it you look at trading him. If he does take it you are in the same boat as you are today.

    — Howard improves his performance. His walks return to the 100 range. His BA improves some. His OPS climbs to 975 or higher. LIKELIHOOD: Not gonna happen. RESULT: You end up having to offer him a bigger deal – probably closer to $30m/year or you explore trading him.

    — Howard regresses some. His walk rate continues to drop. He starts to get nicked up here and there with injuries. His defense regresses with age. Nothing too serious, just a typical downward cycle with age (his prime years to date were 06/07). LIKELIHOOD: Most likely scenario. RESULT: You evaluate where he is in 2 years. If he still warrants a new deal you look at a $17-20m deal over 4 years. You also will have other options available via trade/FA/farm system.

    — Howard shows significant regression. He starts to get injured on a regular basis. His defense and base running become major obstacles. His power drops into the mid 30’s for HR’s and his walk rate plummets as pitchers no longer fear him. LIKELIHOOD: Fairly likely. As others have pointed out, comparables for Howard are not great. They tend to age poorly. RESULT: His value falls dramatically for 2013 and beyond. You are looking at a guy who might get $10m/year on a 2 year deal.

    There really is only one scenario where this signing represents a value to the Phillies. It is also the most unlikely scenario to play out. In the most likely scenarios the Phillies are either paying market value or significantly more than market value. In the worst case scenario, this represents one of the worst deals in baseball.

  23. Trious 5 years ago

    Good signing that needed to be done

    Howard may slump a little here or there but he is worth the money both on the field and off the field as everyone in Philly loves him

  24. quikag182 5 years ago

    The fact that Black Adam Dunn now makes twice as much as White Adam Dunn should have MLK, Jr. smiling down from heaven.

  25. quikag182 5 years ago

    edit: sorry, double post.

  26. Mickeyblue 5 years ago

    The deal looks even worse when you see that they have to pay 10mil just to buy out his 6th year. 10mil buyout, If I’d played baseball I’d be calling Ryan Howard’s agent right now

    • Mario Saavedra 5 years ago

      No you wouldn’t. you would be calling Ruben Amaro Jr. to convince him to sign you… Unless you were latin, then you would be calling Omar Minaya.

    • Mario Saavedra 5 years ago

      No you wouldn’t. you would be calling Ruben Amaro Jr. to convince him to sign you… Unless you were latin, then you would be calling Omar Minaya.

  27. Boz 5 years ago

    the problem is that they could have postured during the offseason using the other great 1B free agents avail to negotiate the price down. why this deal was done now for this amount of money is beyond me.

  28. You realize that Lyle Overbay would bat in 100 rbi’s batting behind Victorino, Rollins and Utley right? RBI’s as a stat are completely meaningless. Do you talk about pitcher’s win/loss record too?

  29. You don’t pay for past performance. Obviously you use it to project future performance but you pay a certain price for what you expect to get from the player going forward. If Howard hits 60 HR this year, that doesn’t mean you should expect 60 HR in the future especially as he ages into his mid to late thirties.

  30. dodgerjulio 5 years ago

    Um… Yeah they could. They should have paid Lee his $9 mill this year. Halladay and Lee was possible

  31. cubs223425 5 years ago

    They COULD have kept Lee, but it would have only been for this year, most likely, and the farm would be lost forever.

  32. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    the phillies got absolutely robbed in that deal. they picked up some fringe prospects who have little to no “starpower.” my guess is that they become average at best players or just utility/backup sort of guys.

    the 2 prospects from the Arbitration system in FA would have amounted to more than what the phillies just gained.

  33. therambler 5 years ago

    They should have kept Lee and traded Howard… then they wouldn’t be on the hook for this monstrosity of a contract. They could have trade Howard and gotten back an even better group of prospects than they got for Lee.

  34. Andrew Jones 5 years ago

    Quite simply, you guys are way overconfident in your ability to predict the free agent market two years from now. You also don’t know which of those players will make it to FA. If I had to guess I would say Pujols gets extended, and Gonzalez gets traded and extended by his new team. Maybe Prince makes it to FA but he might get extended too. There is still more than a season and a half until these guys hit FA, a lot can happen.

  35. If he doesn’t go for something reasonable then you turn to Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez, both of whom are better players than Howard anyways. And like I said you get in trouble when you start paying for past performance, the Phillies had no obligation to “make up” for his pre arb salary. I understand that free agent contracts are more expensive but why not wait and see how the market develops before throwing huge amounts of money. Amaro made the same mistake when he gave Ibanez a big money deal right at the start of free agency a year ago and he still hasn’t learned

  36. strikethree 5 years ago

    Restock the farm with what?


    What the Phillies got was quantity — not quality. None were big names.

  37. scatterbrian 5 years ago

    In what scenario would they need to “gut their farm system” to keep Lee? They used Lee to restock, which is totally different.

    They essentially chose Howard over Lee.

  38. proving my point here. If all those guys are off the market (highly unlikely imo) then there will be zero competition for the Phillies in the Howard sweepstakes and that would greatly reduce his leverage and price. At worst the Phillies could have saved roughly 25 million by simply waiting but hey it’s their money

  39. Pavilionbum 5 years ago

    @cubs223425 The farm system would be lost forever?? So Aumont/Gillies/Ramirez were the saviors? Please, they have very little additional value than 2 first round picks, if any. If the Phillies truly couldn’t afford Lee’s $9MM, then the trade is understandable (ignoring the fact the Amaro apparently didn’t negotiate with any other team), but I doubt they couldn’t have found a way to budget that.

    The Halladay deal was smart. The Lee deal was stupid.

  40. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Correct me if I’m wrong – the Phillies did a straight trade with Toronto. They completed one trade directly with Toronto for Halladay. Then they completed a 2nd trade with the M’s. Finally, the M’s and Jays did their swap. It would have been completely possible to trade for Halladay and keep Lee.

    The problem wasn’t in trading Lee. The problem was the return they got. I have no issues with moving Lee assuming the price was right. In this case it wasn’t. Not even close. The M’s took the Phillies. Arguably – it was the best move of the off-season. While I admire the concept of strengthening your farm, the talent received will have little practical impact.

  41. aap212 5 years ago

    Who cares about abstractly having a farm system? The pieces they got back for Lee are absolutely not as valuable as the year of Lee for a contending team. Besides, even after the trade, their farm system’s value is largely dependent on Domonic Brown and their high upside guys in the lower levels.

  42. aap212 5 years ago

    Plus no one had a gun to their head to pay Joe Blanton and Ross Gload this year. That’s most of Lee’s salary right there.

  43. aap212 5 years ago

    They chose Blanton, Polanco and Gload over Lee. That’s Lee’s salary for the year and then some.

  44. aap212 5 years ago

    UZR’s pretty wonky for first basemen, and Howard’s a big dude signed through his aging years.

  45. Just_MLB 5 years ago

    According to UZR/150 Daniel Murphy had the most range of any 1st baseman in MLB

  46. bflaff 5 years ago

    That’s a point that apparently some people haven’t caught up to yet, since they’re stuck in ‘Howard as Papi’ mode. Anyone who saw Howard piling up the web gems in Halladay’s 2-0 shutout last week would have no trouble accepting his defensive improvement, and more importantly, his dedication to improving his game and (successfully) making himself a more complete player.

  47. scatterbrian 5 years ago

    That’s not really true, but even if it were, I’d still want Lee.

  48. aap212 5 years ago

    I’m just looking at this year. They could have moved Blanton instead of Lee and they could have paid someone the minimum to do Gload’s job. That’s most of Lee’s salary for the year. The Polanco signing I just think is a waste of money and lineup slot.

  49. scatterbrian 5 years ago

    Yeah, short-term I think you’re right. Blanton’s a nice inning-eater, but if you can have Halladay/Lee/Hamels, you don’t let Blanton hold that back.

  50. sacu 5 years ago

    Or the current manny deal.

  51. bflaff 5 years ago

    Sorry, but that’s an utterly ridiculous assertion, taking stat head logic to an untenable extreme. I suppose Overbay on the Yankees would have close to the same number of RBIs as Texeira? At some point you have to stop trying to be clever and stop trying to get the same results with cheaper lesser talent. Show me a stat head team that actually succeeds at getting stud production out of scrub players in any reliable way. Fortunately, the Phillies get this and aren’t trying to dump Howard, to replace him with Casey Kotchmann or some other ridiculous option.

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