Monday, January 21, 2008

Trouble Brewing With Howard Contract Squabble

Ryan Howard is looking to get paid. The slugger made $900,000 last year, an absolute steal considering his 47 home runs and 136 RBI's. That's $19,148 per home run! Consider that the league leader in home runs, Alex Rodriguez, made about $460,000 per home run, and you get the idea of just how underpaid Howard was.
He has entered arbitration with the Phillies, and reportedly the Phillies have offered him 7 million and he is asking for 10 million. It is now in the hands of the arbitors to figure out what he is worth. This could turn into a dicey situation, because now the Phillies have to present the case as to why Howard doesn't deserve 10 million to the arbitors. The first things they will mention will be his major league record in strikeouts last season and his poor defensive play. Howard will counter with his Rookie of the Year, MVP and his major league record for most home runs in his first 1000 at-bats.

Howard is under the Phils control for the next few years, so this same situation is going to keep coming up until they offer him a long term deal. Chase Utley got his deal, will Howard get his? I can see why the Phillies are holding out, they want to see whether he becomes a better all-around hitter, or if he turns into an all-or-nothing swing-for-the-fences slugger.

What do I think Howard should get? For all he has done, 10 million seems fair to me for next season, but it's not my money. Will he end up getting his money? It's doubtful. Will he be happy with that? Probably not, although I think no matter what he ends up getting, he will still be upset with what the Phillies are putting him through. And we all know what happens when superstars get upset in Philadelphia. Ask Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley, Scott Rolen and the rest. They get shown the door in trades that net Philadelphia teams next to nothing.

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