Apr 26, 2010, 3:26 PM EDT
Two things are now entirely clear. Phillies fans will get the chance to watch Ryan Howard play first base for the Fightins' for a long, long time, and the slugger is going to get paid quite nicely while doing it.
Howard is making $19 million this year and was scheduled to make $20 million next year. Now, with the new extension, Howard will make $20 million per year in 2012 and 2013 before getting a raise in 2014 to the tune of $25 million per year that will continue on through 2016. The Phillies will then have an option at $23 million for the 2017 season. Big bucks, no doubt.
In my opinion, it's a pretty fair deal for all parties involved over the next three or four seasons. One of the biggest sluggers in the game is locked up on your squad and is getting paid accordingly. The key to whether this deal will prove sage or a bit overzealous will all depend on how well Howard holds up into his mid-to-late thirties. Some are already saying the Phillies will regret the deal because Howard will decline rapidly. That, clearly, remains to be seen.
Will Phillies fans in 2016 bemoan the $25 million Ryan Howard is getting paid that year? Perhaps. But most Phillies fans can barely make plans for next weekend let alone five years from now. That's why Ruben Amaro Jr. gets paid to make important, long lasting decisions like this one. It's amazing how every Joe on Twitter turns into a soothsayer on days
like today. Only time will tell if this one pays off down the road.
Until then, enjoy watching Ryan Howard play first base for your Phillies.
Elsewhere: Rich Hoffman argues why the deal makes sense.
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