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Ryan Howard needs knee surgery, out 6-8 weeks

Jul 8, 2013, 4:51 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

Ryan Howard underwent an MRI exam after being placed on the disabled list with a left knee injury and the Phillies first baseman has been diagnosed with a torn meniscus.

He’s expected to miss 6-8 weeks, which would knock Howard out until at least late August and possibly the remainder of the season if any setbacks occur.

Last season Howard struggled after returning from a torn Achilles’ tendon and he got off to a slow start this season as well, but since June 1 he’d hit .287 with four homers and an .885 OPS in 30 games. Overall since coming back from the torn Achilles’ tendon that occurred during the 2011 playoffs Howard has hit just .244 with a .752 OPS in 151 games, which is a 150-point dropoff from his career OPS.

Howard, who’ll be 34 years old in November, is making $20 million this season and the Phillies owe him $25 million per season for 2014, 2015, and 2016, plus a $23 million team option or $10 million buyout for 2017.

  1. areyesrn - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    silver lining: no chance to end the season with a strikeout this year…

  2. neoshweaty - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    The Phillies owe him at least 85 million not including this season? Wow.

    • 18thstreet - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      Why is this the first I’ve heard of this??

  3. xpensivewinos - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    At some point, teams will learn……….but that day has not arrived.

    A-Hole, Howard, Teixeira, Hamilton, Pujols, on and on……….

    • paperlions - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:53 PM

      Well, SOME teams have learned.

    • dan1111 - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:37 AM

      Those other deals are bad, or have the potential to be bad. But Howard really is in a class by himself.

      Even if he had duplicated his performance from 2007-2011, this would have been a really bad contract. Basically, the Phillies payed him like they expected him to repeat his 2006 career year over and over until age 36.

      Worst contract in baseball.

  4. Francisco (FC) - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Too bad for Howard, he was starting to click offensively but then his knee went bad.

  5. tastybasslines - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Pick a team, Flyers, Phillies…doesn’t matter. Front office monkeys giving out money like cheesesteaks. Worst city of professional sports management in the world!

    • heyblueyoustink - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      Way worse than Cleveland, Kansas City, when’s the last time anyone won anything in Oakland, Cincinatti, Minneapolis, Atlanta…..

    • dan1111 - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:42 AM

      So cheesesteaks are an example of something that is handed out really easily? I wish.

  6. ninozlatino - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    which one of u is signing the checks? nobody in Philly was chirpin when they signed him. Until baseball contracts become more like football this will keep happening. hindsight. Ruben inked guys on past performance. had carte blanche. now he either makez his bones or crashes and burns. like Homer will too. as u can see I’m on both sides of the fence. love Howard. but hate the deal.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      nobody in Philly was chirpin when they signed him.

      If you mean complaining, many of us thought it was a horrible deal when it was signed. Do a search on these pages and you’ll even find some Phillies fans questioning the move.

      • neoshweaty - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:19 PM

        I don’t think I ever read anything positive about the contract and that was as of the first second the deal went public. It’s just a horrible deal no matter how you justified it then or now.

      • badintent - Jul 9, 2013 at 1:16 AM

        Stop whinning. Howard was putting up monster numbers and getting $500,000 a season and never complained about it. He had one of the worst contracts for a second and third year player.Go do some real homework. Talk about dumping down on a guy when he’s down. He ain’t no clown like Arodless. All he’s done is drive in a ton of runs and be a good team mate and good citizen.I expected better of you.

      • tuberippin - Jul 9, 2013 at 1:50 AM

        “Stop whinning. Howard was putting up monster numbers and getting $500,000 a season and never complained about it. He had one of the worst contracts for a second and third year player”

        If you think that’s supposed to justify giving a guy going into his age-30 season $125 million with declining numbers across the board already evident at the time the contract was signed, you’re as wrong as wrong can be. Nobody is saying he shouldn’t have been paid; the amount (total and annual) as well as the length of the deal and the timing of the deal were all horrendous. It was bad then, it’s worse now.

        – Phils fan

    • dan1111 - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:46 AM

      This was definitely not a case of hindsight. Everyone knew it was a bad deal at the time. Even if Howard had repeated his past performance, it would not have been enough to justify the deal.

      The fact that the Phillies gave out this contract is a flaw of their management, not a flaw of baseball’s contract structures. 29 teams would not have signed him to this deal.

  7. sportsfan18 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    It isn’t Howard’s fault they put that contract in front of him to sign…

    • heyblueyoustink - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:11 PM

      Even more to the point, I generally don’t rip anyone who was a key in winning the team a world championship.

      And now we get to see if Ruf is for real.

  8. kingbuccaneer - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Yoo Ryan, Ill see you on the beach tomorrow!

    Now he’s got plenty of time to build that mongoloid house right on the beach here.

  9. deathmonkey41 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    There’s really only one thing that RAJ can do to replace Howard now- he must trade away some young prospects to obtain Greg Dobbs. No matter how many different angles I look at this situation from- it always comes back to Greg Dobbs. There’s just no other way around this.

    • biasedhomer - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:31 PM

      They should trade Ruben Amaro for Gregg Dobbs.
      Is Dobbs still on the Marlins? THat would mean they could get Stanton for Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins.

  10. sah0620 - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Welcome to the Fantasy unemployment line.

  11. pollittr - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Frankly, I think Howard’s career is over at the MLB level. I predict the Phillies will eat the money and eventually abandon all hope of him being anything near productive ever again. Just because they will pay him 20-25 million bucks a year does not mean he will be capable of being major league calibre again.

    • biasedhomer - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:29 PM

      Why would they eat the 80M left on his deal?

      They have no replacement in the minor leagues. They could cut him and replace him with someone who gives equal production but that makes no sense. Good 1B rarely hit the open market, and if they do, they want a ton of money. No way the Phillies would do that and pay Howard to do nothing at the same time.

      Is he overpaid? Yes. Is he better in a platoon? Yes. But is he no longer worthy to be in the majors? Absolutely not.

  12. mungman69 - Jul 8, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    If they offered me that money I’d take it.

  13. chaseutley - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Get ready to watch the Phillies make a run!

  14. whitdog23 - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Doctors said ARod would be back from meniscus tear in 2-3 weeks. LOL.
    That didn’t work out. guess doctors are getting smarter

  15. andreweac - Jul 9, 2013 at 6:29 AM

    The Albertross is still owed $200 million + For the next 8+ seasons. That is by far the worst contract in MLB.

    • dan1111 - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:08 AM

      Pujols’ contract certainly has the possibility of turning out worse, because there is so much more money involved. However, I would not bet on it.

      Last year, in a disappointing season for him, Pujols produced 5 WAR of value. That is about the same as Howard’s best season. His 2013 numbers are worrying, but he is also struggling with injuries.

      Pujols, like any aging player, carries risk. But he could decline significantly from his peak production and still produce a ton of value for the Angels in the coming years. On the other hand, Howard has been playing at replacement level when healthy the last two seasons and has a much longer track record of decline from a much lower peak.

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