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Ruben Amaro is just fine with Ryan Howard’s contract

Jan 29, 2012, 9:55 AM EDT

Ryan Howard dark skies

Fun Fact: Ryan Howard will make more than Albert Pujols this year. And next year. And the year after that. And the year after that.  The year after that one — 2016 — they’ll make the same.

Secondary fun fact: Ryan Howard will make more than Prince Fielder every single year until 2017, at which point Howard’s option will likely be declined and he’ll be a free agent again. In no single season of his nine-year deal will Prince Fielder make as much as Howard will make for 2014, 2015 and 2016.

But it’s OK, because Ruben Amaro is just fine with it:

“I’m kind of happy,” Amaro said. “Really happy because if I would’ve had to put eight or nine years on Howard’s deal right now, that would be a little disconcerting. Right now we have Howard for the next five years. I kind of like that rather than giving an eight-, nine- or 10-year deal.”

Honestly, though: would anyone not prefer Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols on their new 9/10 year deals over Ryan Howard on the five-year deal that kicks in starting this season? If given the choice right now — even assuming that Howard wasn’t coming off a torn Achilles. which he is — wouldn’t you rather take either of the other two on the longer deals?   I sure would.

I know Amaro can’t say that, of course, because of the politics of it all. But man.

  1. illad3lph1a - Jan 29, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    Wow, way off my friend. Albert will be how old towards the end of his deal? And he’s already seen a decline in his numbers. Prince is not a typical player…. He’s got quite a belly and you can only assume that a few yrs into his contract he will be lumbering around like his father.

    • atxjustin - Jan 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      Albert Pujols has already seen a decline in his numbers? Seriously? Last season was the first time in 10 years he hit less than .300, and he hit .299. It was only the second year he finished with an OBP less than .400.

      For the last 10 years Pujols has been one of the most consistent hitters, if not the most, in all of baseball. You have to expect the guy to decline from his stellar numbers somewhat over the next few years but I’m taking Pujols’ career numbers, .328/.420/.617, on a 10 year deal over Howard’s, .275/.368/.560, on a 5 year deal any day.

      • paperlions - Jan 29, 2012 at 2:54 PM

        Actually, yes. Pujols has seen a steady decline in production since 2008 (his best year)…he has gone from other worldly to fantastic to simply great….but he is not the player he was 4 years ago anymore.

      • scatterbrian - Jan 29, 2012 at 5:07 PM

        Career numbers thru 2009:
        .344/.427/.628

        2010:
        .312/.414/.596

        2011
        .299/.366/.541

        There’s definitely a decline there.

    • Old Gator - Jan 29, 2012 at 2:56 PM

      My guess is that unless he gets some serious professional intervention by a trained nutritionist, the Fat Prince will be lumbering around a lot worse than his dad by the same age (not to mention courting Type II diabetes). He’ll also be making a bigger fool of himself at first base.

  2. ricofoy - Jan 29, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    If I signed a player to a bad contract with someone else’s money, I’d be fine with it too.

  3. flyerscup2010 - Jan 29, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    that’s not politics, he’s being 100% honest when he says all that. listen, he’s been brought up by the team’s front office by guys like ed wade and pat gillick to have a total aversion to long contracts. the phillies NEVER gave more than 3 years to pitchers and never went much longer than that for older players. when halladay got his 3 year contract with the option that will really be a 4 year contract (which was a sweetheart deal on halladay’s part for the phillies – he could have gotten 4 more guaranteed years and $100 million or so more on the open market), that was a big deal because they’ve always held so firm to their “3 years for pitchers and never any more under any circumstances” philosophy.

    and it worked out well considering they didn’t get stuck with brad lidge on a long-term contract.

    so the phillies would philosophically prefer to pay more money in a shorter term than less per year on a long term and end up eating some of it at the end. the phillies wouldn’t have offered 8, 9, 10 years to pujols or fielder, nor would they have offered it to howard. that’s the trade-off: more money in the short term to save them from eating money in the long term.

    none of this means that I personally would not want to have pujols or fielder over howard right now. but keep in mind they’re both on AL teams so they’ll both be bought time as DH’s towards the end. the phillies overpaid howard in exchange for not getting stuck with him for those last 5 years at inflated salaries whether he’s playing for the team or not, and i really do think ruben amaro is genuinely happy about that.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 29, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      the phillies overpaid howard in exchange for not getting stuck with him for those last 5 years at inflated salaries whether he’s playing for the team or not, and i really do think ruben amaro is genuinely happy about that.

      It’s entirely possible that’s the reason, but it’s also a matter of fact that the Phillies are paying more money per year for an inferior player when they didn’t have any reason to make the deal when they did.

  4. randygnyc - Jan 29, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Sure he is…..

  5. paperlions - Jan 29, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    The problem with Howard’s contract compared to Prince or Albert…is that Howard has zero chance of being worth that $25M in any year of the deal. He is no where near the hitter the other two are and no where near the defender Pujols is….at least Prince and Pujols have a decent chance of being worth the money for large portion of their contracts. Fielder and Howard will be the same age when their contracts end….yes, Pujols will be much older….but he is also a significantly better player (Howards best season, 2006, was still not as good as Pujol’s average season to date…and that is just on offense).

    Even without the injury, if Howard became a FA now, no team would offer him anywhere near 8 years because he has been in steady decline for a few years, can’t hit lefties, and offers nothing else of value. If Howard was on the market now, he’d be lucky to get 5 years, and $100M.

    • dondada10 - Jan 29, 2012 at 11:00 AM

      I think churchofthe made a great point, but I agree with this.

      But what is Amaro supposed to say? “I threw a ninja-star and it came back and hit me”?

      • paperlions - Jan 29, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        It would have been better (probably) to say nothing, or if he had to comment to say something more innocuous. If I was a Philly fan, and RAJ is telling the truth here….I’d be pretty worried about his approach to evaluating player value…even if they have more money than god to spend….you only have so many roster spots to fill….locking guys into deals with too many dollars and years gets in the way of roster flexibility…and winning.

        Still, the biggest problem with the Howard contract was timing. Had they waited, the asking price would have only gone down and Howard was already showing clear signs of regression. Pujols and Fielder had leverage because they were FAs, Howard got a far over-market contract with zero leverage 2 years before he would have been a FA.

  6. illcomm - Jan 29, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    Well in the long term let’s see how happy the angels will be with a 40 year old making more than 29 mil and how happy the tigers will be 5 years from now paying a DH 23 mil.

  7. fioremike - Jan 29, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    This article is incorrect! Do your research! Howard will make $20 mil in 2012 and 2013. This is LESS THAN Fielder will make and more than Pujols, only because Pujol’s contract is heavily back-loaded.

    I’m not defending Howard’s contract he is overpaid, but give us the FACTS. Howard’s salary bumps up to $25 mil per year in 2014-2016 ($1 mil more per year than Fielder and Pujols). In 2017 Howard has a $10 mil buyout with a $23 mil option, while Fielder will still have 4 years and $96 million guaranteed and Pujols: 5 years, $140 million (at 37 years old)!

  8. drmonkeyarmy - Jan 29, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Howard has been a superior player to Fielder up to this point in their careers. They have had a similar amount of plate appearances and Howard has a greater WAR.

    • paperlions - Jan 29, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      That comparison is like saying Adam Dunn has been a superior player to this point because he has a higher career WAR (which is true). Age matters…a LOT.

      Howard fWAR: 23.1 in 1027 games, is 32 yrs old and past his prime.

      Fielder fWAR 23.4 in 998 games, is 27 years old and just entering his prime.

      When Howard was Fielder’s age, he had played 1.5 yrs in the majors.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 29, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      bWAR yes, fWAR no. And Howard is mainly boosted by his ’06 year, or something he did 6 years ago. Since then it’s been a different story:

      Last 5 Years:
      Fielder – 22.1 fWAR, 19.9 bWAR
      Howard – 14.3 fWAR, 14.5 bWAR

      And let’s not forget that Howard is 4 years older so the discrepancy will most likely continue to grow even further.

      • phillyphreak - Jan 29, 2012 at 1:48 PM

        And if you use prefer WARP (for the last 5 years) its the same story: Fielder 19.3 vs. Howard 13.9

  9. kjt929 - Jan 29, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    I think they should have gave him a 3 year deal

  10. nonmendacium - Jan 29, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    ignoring the comparison to albert pujols for a moment…

    ryan howard’s 162-game avg. numbers are FAR superior to prince fielder. .282/37/106 vs. .275/45/136 (ba/hr/rbi).

    ok. well there’s the argument that ryan howard is declining while prince fielder is ascending. firstly, i disagree; prince fielder doesn’t have a 20-year career body. in fact, his father retired at 35 as a DH. it’s likely to think his son will foliow and therefore, has likely hit or is about to hit his peak. but in any event, let’s compare their last two years:

    ryan howard: .262/32/112
    prince fielder: .280/36/102

    fairly comparable. and prince fielder did it with the mvp hitting in front of him.

    .928 career OPS vs. .929 OPS (care to guess who is who?) again shows that they are similar batters. while prince had a monstrous OPS last year compared to ryan howard (.981 vs. .835), it’s not decisive to say that will be his norm given his OPS numbers are wildly erratic (1.014; .871; .981 last three years). and prince fielder’s OPS is driven in large part by his OBP, something any GM will tell you is less important when it comes to your cleanup hitter (unless he has speed; which is rare and typically makes that hitter a #3 hitter if he can hit for average).

    ryan howard may be declining, but is prince fielder clearly better and worth more money? think you’re naive (and probably just bitter about the braves) to say yes.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 29, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      So much stuff, where to begin…

      ryan howard’s 162-game avg

      Howard has played 162 games once in the last 5 years, and 160 games only twice. Fielder has gone: 158, 159, 162, 161 and 162. Total over the last 5 years:
      Howard – 761
      Fielder – 802

      well there’s the argument that ryan howard is declining while prince fielder is ascending. firstly, i disagree

      Glad you disagree, but you are wrong. Rate stats over the last 5 years:
      BB% – 16.5, 11.6, 10.7, 9.5, 11.6
      ISO – .316, .292, .292, .229, .235
      OBP – .392, .339, .360, .353, .346
      wOBA – .396, .366, .393, .367, .354

      And he’s only getting older (31).

      prince fielder doesn’t have a 20-year career body. in fact, his father retired at 35 as a DH. it’s likely to think his son will foliow and therefore, has likely hit or is about to hit his peak

      Phew, because one person = data. My father is 75 and has smoked since he was 12. Never had a lung problem, ever. So screw you Surgeon General!

      but in any event, let’s compare their last two years:

      You use BA, which is a terrible stat to compare hitters with, HR, and then a team dependent stat like RBI. However, 2/3 are for one person and you say it’s fairly comparable? Look at my post above breaking down total value to a team for the last five years and see that Fielder dwarfs Howard.

      and prince fielder’s OPS is driven in large part by his OBP, something any GM will tell you is less important when it comes to your cleanup hitter

      OBP is the best stat for a hitter, and in fact quoting OPS is bad because it overvalues SLG and undervalues OBP.

      ryan howard may be declining, but is prince fielder clearly better and worth more money? think you’re naive (and probably just bitter about the braves) to say yes.

      See my post above, and I’m a Yankee fan.

      • nonmendacium - Jan 29, 2012 at 8:04 PM

        “OBP is the best stat for a hitter, and in fact quoting OPS is bad because it overvalues SLG and undervalues OBP.”

        (1) “overvalues SLG”? yeah, b/c who wants their slugger to, well, slug. i’d much rather he draw walks and get hit by a pitch rather than hit deep fly balls, line drives, (or HRs even) with runners in scoring position with less than two outs (or even with two out). if you think OBP drives the prince fielder/ryan howard debate than we should instead switch gears to discuss the english premier league. sorry, the BARCLAYS english premier league.

        (2) “I’m a Yankee fan.” well, enough said.

        (3) “You use BA, which is a terrible stat to compare hitters with, HR, and then a team dependent stat like RBI.” again, b/c individual hitters win playoff games and world series titles. (oh, that’s right–you said you were a yankee fan). if you want to discount the important of RBIs in evaluating a slugger/cleanup hitter AND HIS CONTRACT WITH A TEAM and only discuss the better hitter then, well, why are you having a discussion of a player’s contract WITH HIS TEAM? ruben amaro doesn’t pay ryan howard to go to balls-n-strikes and hit off the iron mike. he gets $25MM to drive in runs. period. and he does it at a far better clip than prince fielder.

        (4) “Phew, because one person = data. My father is 75 and has smoked since he was 12. Never had a lung problem, ever. So screw you Surgeon General!.” it’s called anecdotal evidence. will prince fielder mimic his father? maybe. but obviously it’s not guaranteed. and if you think your father’s “never had a lung problem” then you probably don’t wear a bike helmet either. and not to confound you, but yes, one person does equal data. it might not be reliable, but it’s data.

        (5) “Howard has played 162 games once in the last 5 years, and 160 games only twice. Fielder has gone: 158, 159, 162, 161 and 162.” i don’t know what this means. i’m taking a per game avg, essentially, expounded over a “full” MLB season. it’s what baseball-reference publishes and i grabbed it b/c it was easy. (those guys are such fools over at baseball-reference.com, aren’t they? [sarcasm, just in case]).

      • phillyphreak - Jan 29, 2012 at 8:26 PM

        @nonmendacium.

        The best thing a batter can do is to not make an out (deep fly balls, line drives, ground balls all turn into outs sometimes). OBP is the (or one of the) best stats to use to evaluate hitters, even power hitters. From 2009-2011 Fielders OBP is 0.409. Howard’s OBP in the same time is 0.353. Slugging? Fielder is 0.547 vs. Howard’s 0.524.

        If you’re not comfortable with using OBP use wOBA (kinda like a better version of OBP but more accurately accounts for the value of hits/walks etc etc; see http://www.fangraphs.com/library/index.php/offense/woba/). If we do that: Fielder (again 2009-2011): 0.403 to Howard’s 0.372.

  11. natsattack - Jan 29, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    “ryan howard’s 162-game avg. numbers are FAR superior to prince fielder. .282/37/106 vs. .275/45/136 (ba/hr/rbi).

    ryan howard: .262/32/112
    prince fielder: .280/36/102

    fairly comparable…”

    Where is the line between “fairly comparable” and “FAR superior?

    And you can’t use 162 game averages. Prince Fielder was the only MLB player to play in all 162 games. Berthed endurance than Howard.

  12. phillyphreak - Jan 29, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    You know ‘cepts is sill banned when there is a Ryan Howard article without expletive laced tirades in the comment section…..

  13. greymares - Jan 29, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    thats 2 of us, i’m with RAJ. howard will be closer to the same player at the end of his contract than an aged Pujols or a 400lb Fielder.

    • thefalcon123 - Jan 29, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      Howard’s annual drops in OPS since since 2006

      2007: -10%
      2008: -10%
      2009: +6%
      2010: -8%
      2011: -3

      Ryan Howard isn’t even the same player he was 2 years ago. His decline is obvious, yet often overlooked.

  14. xmatt0926x - Jan 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    I think most of us can agree that Amaro gambled and lost somewhat by signing Howard to a monster extension 2 years before he had to. It’s a bad deal and so are the Pujols and Fielder deals. Yeah the angels will get about 4 or 5 real good years from Albert and will be stuck for the last 4 or 5. Same for the Tigers. I’m a Phillies fan and have never liked the Howard deal. I also think this topic is way overblown and and given far too much importance on this site, but we all know why that is. Any phillies rip is worth about 75 comments from phillies diehards and people who just hate the Phillies and their fans. At the end of the day, no matter how bad these teams overpayed for players in their final 4 or 5 years, will these contracts be the difference between these teams winning a title or not? I don’t think so. I would imagine that any big-market team will have it’s fair share of bad contracts because these teams are usually taking more chances and gambling more for a title than middling markets like Atlanta will. Is the trade-off worth it? I think so. I’ll take some bad years with the good instead of the franchises that talk year after year about hoping that 4 or 5 good prosepects pan out at the same time in hopes of just being competitive.

  15. thefalcon123 - Jan 29, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    34 qualifying players had a higher OPS that Ryan Howard last year. Since 2008, he’s been in the top 20 just once (he ranked 16th). He’s being paid like one of the elite players in the game and performing nowhere close to that level. He’s a $20+ million first baseman who is a poor fielder and baserunner who ranks out of the top 25 in OPS. That’s a pretty bad contract.

    In the past 4 years, Fielder has a whopping .51 point advantage in OBP and a 20 point advantage in OPS+. Pujols had by far the worst year of his career last season and his 5.4 WAR at least 1 win better than every single Howard campaign save for 2006. Fielder is better than Howard and pretty clearly at that. Albert Pujols is *much* better than Howard. He simply isn’t the same class of player, yet the Phillies are paying him like he is.

    Michael Young and Ryan Howard…why does everyone have blinders on their eyes when it comes to these two?

  16. vader000 - Jan 29, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    The title of this post should be “Calcaterra trolling Phillies fans on slow news day” To compare these contracts is like comparing apples to oranges. Paying players who are 37 and older 20 million + is just plain dumb no matter what stats are sighted. Yes, the Pujols and Fielder deals in the first few years might seem better but to just ignore the fact that these deals are going to be albatrosses in the long term is just asinine. Howard could have the highest OPS in the league next year and there would still be people ripping his deal so who really cares? I feel like most of this is fans of smaller market teams who are tortured by the fact that their teams will never be able to afford such contracts and thus are doomed to small runs of success before they have to sell off players and start over. Instead of ripping big market teams for contracts why not direct your vitriol towards the league which allows this to happen and has even enhanced it with the new labor deal which limits the ability of small market teams to pay more for better prospects. Time’s yours.

    • vader000 - Jan 29, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      And his facts are completely wrong as well, Howard will make 20 million in 2012 and 2013 while Fielder will make 23 million in 2012 and 2013. Wow, at least do a little fact checking before posting stuff like this, the term “hack” comes to mind right now.

    • phillyphreak - Jan 29, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      Look, I’m a big of a Phillies fan as there is. And I LOVE Howard, irrationally as it may seem on how I post about him. But it’s super obvious that the contract is awful and it was bad the day it was signed.

      “To compare these contracts is like comparing apples to oranges.”
      -How so? The comparison is contracts signed by 1B who are perceived (rightly or wrongly) by fans/media to be elite at their position. However, only two of the three are actually elite at 1B.

      “Howard could have the highest OPS in the league next year..”
      – So could Placido Polanco, but that’s not happening.

      “Wow, at least do a little fact checking before posting stuff like this, the term “hack” comes to mind right now”

      Ok fine the numbers Craig posted were a little off. But, in fairness, you could have pointed out that in 2014 and 2015 (when Howard will have declined even more) he will make a million/year more than Prince; not much but the premise is still that Howard is being paid as if he’s as productive (or will be as productive) as Fielder or Pujols. If you really think he’s such a hack, I suppose we won’t see you posting here much more eh?

  17. vader000 - Jan 29, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    It’s very easy to pick parts of sentences to fit your argument, I obviously don’t think Howard will have the highest OPS in the league its called making an example. Calling the contract awful is quite an overstatement, he means more to the Phillies then any other team in the league by leaps and bounds and to overlook that is just ignorant. This is what I get for actually posting a comment, I usually lead this thing called a life. And yes, hacks are people who pass things off as facts when 30 seconds of fact finding would have proven these “facts” wrong. You’re right you won’t see me posting on here much because I usually don’t pay much attention to bloggers who just scream for attention by taking potshots at the same people over and over again. My main point in all this is that the post is factually inaccurate and done with bias, as usual, enjoy your comments section basement dwellers.

    • phillyphreak - Jan 29, 2012 at 6:46 PM

      “Calling the contract awful is quite an overstatement, he means more to the Phillies then any other team in the league by leaps and bounds and to overlook that is just ignorant.”
      – Not really. Paying top dollar for a 1B who isn’t even in the top 5-10 in the league is awful (for reference over the past three seasons he is 13th in fWAR for qualified 1B; 17th in OBP, 11th in wOBA). Not to mention it was a contract that was signed two years before free agency. Would he have gotten that deal this year? Nope. And other players on the Phillies mean more than Howard.

      “enjoy your comments section basement dwellers”
      – Classy.

  18. schmedley69 - Jan 29, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Five years from now we will have a much better handle on whether Howard’s contract was a good deal or a bad deal, and how it compares to Pujols’ and Fielder’s contracts, etc. It’s hard to believe how many stories this site has devoted to Howard’s contract over the last 2 years, and the extension hasn’t even officially kicked in yet.

    • phillyphreak - Jan 29, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      “the extension hasn’t even officially kicked in yet.”

      – And that’s what is so troubling. A player who is in the decline phase of his career before his contract even starts and who is coming off an Achilles injury. I don’t think we can expect the 2006 season to be repeated any time soon. Does it bother you that this contract may (or may not) have an impact on if they can sign Cole long term?

      – I agree there has been a lot of stories on this contract and on Howard lately. I don’t think they’re all for the same reason (and I’m sure sometimes Craig throws bait out there) but for multiple things: 1) bad contract 2) valuation of players (i.e. RBI meaningful)

      • schmedley69 - Jan 29, 2012 at 8:24 PM

        No, it doesn’t bother me, because the Phillies are flush with cash and can sign whoever they want to sign. If they want to sign Hamels, they will sign him. Simple as that.

        Philadelphia is the largest one-team market in baseball. They sell out every game and they have a billionaire in the ownership group. They also get huge TV ratings, and at some point they will likely replace their current TV deal with a blockbuster deal like the teams with lesser ratings are getting.

        Money is not an issue. Don’t worry about. All of the money that we fans spend at the games is finally being put to good use. This isn’t the penny-pinching, Bill Giles-run Phillies who operated like we were a small market team. We finally have the ownership group that we deserve.

        Did Ruben Amaro overpay Howard? Probably. Could he have waited a little longer before singing him? Sure. Is Howard grossly overpaid, like say, Jayson Werth? No. If Howard hadn’t gotten hurt and was a free-agent this off-season, he likely would have signed a deal close to, if not bigger then the one he signed two years ago. There is always a team looking to make a big splash in free agency and who is willing to overpay to get a player. Werth is the perfect example. SABRmetrics aside, a big bopper like Howard would probably have a lot of teams salivating. Home runs put fans in the seats. I’m sure that the teams who lost out on Fielder would have been knocking on his door.

        Ryan Howard has his flaws, but he has been a valuable player for the Phillies over the years, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that they probably don’t win the World Series without him. The Phillies have been around since 1883 and have only had two eras of sustained success. The late ’70’s and early ’80’s teams, and this team. Stop worrying about the payroll and enjoy the ride. Let the fans of other teams whine about Howard’s contract. As long as the turnstiles at CBP keep spinning, money will not be an issue.

      • phillyphreak - Jan 29, 2012 at 8:39 PM

        Money is always an issue. Even billionaires operate under a budget. If we don’t worry (read: get heavily interested in and talk about baseball because it’s so freakin awesome) about the financial aspect of baseball we aren’t really thinking hard about the construction of our favorite franchise/team.

        “.. he likely would have signed a deal close to, if not bigger then the one he signed two years ago.”
        – I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say probably not, although no one can be too sure. He’s a 30HR guy now and his ISO is dropping every season. Does this mean he has no value and sucks? No way. But it’s not the value a lot of fans perceive it to be.

        I’m not whining about Howard’s contract- it’s not his fault that RAJ offered that kind of deal. Hell if I were him I’d sign it too. I like him, he’s a nice part of the team but we can’t ignore the fact that he’s not worth that money- especially when there are other players on the team that should be locked up long term instead. And think about it this way: had he not been offered that contract and was a free agent (hurt or not)- don’t you think Fielder would provide the same level of production (and probably better)? Wouldn’t it have been interesting for the Phillies to take a run at him?

      • schmedley69 - Jan 30, 2012 at 8:32 AM

        I seriously doubt that the Phillies would have signed Fielder for 9 years. That guy is guaranteed to break down with that body. At least Howard has made it a priority to get in better shape.

        paperlions, there is only one certainty about the future: in 5 years you will still be living in your parents’ basement.

      • phillyphreak - Jan 30, 2012 at 8:44 AM

        I don’t know we can say anything for sure. Maybe 7 years would have gotten it done maybe not. It’s really all speculation. But the next 5 years of Fielder’s deal will probably be >>> than Howard’s next 5 years. And if Fielder were in the 4 spot on this Phillies team he’d be much more productive than Howard.

        The point is there was really no reason to go an lock Howard up a few years ago.

    • paperlions - Jan 30, 2012 at 7:37 AM

      Completely agree. In 5 years we will have a better handle on how Howard’s contract turned out. We already know it was a horrible one; in 5 years, we will know exactly how bad.

  19. andyreidisfat - Jan 29, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    I love posts like this that knock Howard. The guy is a classic 30-100 guy every year and if I am not mistaken has more RBI than anyone since his rookie year.

    Howard may not have the high average that Albert or fat boy has, but his run production has been hirer than both those guys since he was a rookie and maybe I am wrong but isn’t run production what a power hitting first basemen judged on? Not to mention he’s much better fielder than fielder.

    But the main thing here is when the tigers and angels are both stuck with huge contracts that keep them from being good 5 years from now the phillies will have the cap flexability to remain a top team.

    I know some people think the phillies “window” is closing, but those who think that are in for a serious surprise. The phillies smart managing of future money and not signing stupid deals will leave them able to sign free agents and make trades for years to come. The big 2 in baseball has really become the big 3( atleast money wise. You can probably include the angels in that except if these are the deals they are going to make they are going to spend that tv deal money real quick )

    • thehollar - Jan 30, 2012 at 3:05 AM

      “isn’t run production what a power hitting first basemen judged on?”

      Yes. But I suspect you’re computing it wrong.

    • paperlions - Jan 30, 2012 at 7:43 AM

      No one since Jack Morris has received more credit for the quality of his team mates than Ryan Howard. Yes, Howard drives in a lot of runs…he also leads the league in opportunities to drive in runs since 2006 because his team mates are awesome….not because he is particularly great at driving guys in.

  20. lancer255 - Jan 30, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Their is something to be said for teams that are able to sign their own players. I think the Phillies were being proactive when they signed Ryan. I’m sure brewer fans wish they still had Prince. By signing Howard 2 years ago it minimized the risk of losing him.

    People have short term memory they remember him making the last out. He got a huge double in the SF game in which our third base coach failed to send Jimmy and this year he single handily won you game one in a series you had to win 3 games with a bum ankle.

    It easy in hindsight to say a deal is bad in reality due to the economics of baseball every deal is over values because you are always over paying for past performance.

    Excluding injury Ryan would of received a similar deal if he was on the market this year.

    • paperlions - Jan 30, 2012 at 7:49 AM

      It is possible that some mis-guided owner would push his FO into making a gigantic mistake by signing Howard to a 5 year $125M deal if he had been a healthy FA this off-season. But it is very unlikely it would have happened. The guy’s only plus skill has been in decline for years. Considering all aspects of baseball, he’s an average (or below) ML 1B at this point. Only those that still think about baseball in 1980s terms consider him to be an elite player….and those people are mostly fans.

      He’s been in steady decline for years with a body that profiles to age quickly, plays below average defense, is a bad base runner, and can’t hit lefties. How anyone can think that skill set for a 32 yr old player translates into $25M/year is beyond me.

  21. lancer255 - Jan 30, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    @schmedley69 agree 100%.

  22. Chris Fiorentino - Jan 30, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    “Secondary fun fact: Ryan Howard will make more than Prince Fielder every single year until 2017″ BUZZZZZZZZZZZ WRONG!!!!!

    Fielder makes $23 million in 2012 and $23 million in 2013.

    As was said above, lost in all the Howard-bashing…Ryan Howard will draw the following salaries for the next 5 years…

    2012 – $20 million
    2013 – $20 million
    2014 – $25 million
    2015 – $25 million
    2016 – $25 million
    2017 – $10 million buyout

    He will NOT be making $25 million a year for the next 5 years. No big deal? WRONG. This was a HUGE DEAL because it gave the Phillies flexibility in signing players in 2012 and 2013 precisely because they did NOT have to worry about the extra $5 million a year for those two years.

    Yeah, Howard’s production has fallen and the contract doesn’t look great. But so what. It is what it is. And it is what I wrote above…NOT $25 million a year for 5 years.

    I guess this is what happens when Craig tries to be pithy on a Sunday morning…epic fail.

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