Does Ryan Howard’s extension mean Pujols is a Yankee?


125 million dollar man

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard signed a 125 million, 5 year extension that will keep him in Philadelphia up until 2016. Many folks think Howard was overpaid based on past performance and age. I think they overpaid if we can’t keep Werth who is about the same age and is a right handed, power hitting pitch eater at the plate and a perfect fit behind Howard in the lineup.

What it really changes is the price tag attached to Albert Pujols. I am a Phillies fan, Ryan Howard is awesome to me and I am glad he will be here well into the 10’s. But Pujols is just better and Howard’s deal will be used as a starting point for Pujols because Pujols is just that much better of a hitter, fielder and base runner.

Some estimate if Howard is pegged at 25 million a year in his new deal, Pujols’ new deal would have to be 50 million per year. If that happens, who will be able to afford him and field a viable team? The only teams with higher payrolls than the Phillies $141 million plus total for 2010? The Yankees ($206m+), Red Sox ($162m+) and Cubs ($146m+).

Back to how it feels as a Philly fan, and yes there is a contingent of Howard haters (aka idiots), it feels great. Howard has worked and gotten better since he broke into the league. He has been in better shape, become a much better fielder and is still working on his plate discipline. An MVP who continues to work hard is fine with me.

“I think we’re blessed as an organization, especially at the Major League level, with guys who take a lot of pride in their craft,” [Phillies GM Ruben] Amaro said. “Ryan is one of those guys. He clearly has dedicated himself to being a very complete player. He’s worked on his defense. He’s worked on his body. He has a special attribute with his power and run production that not many in the history of this game have been able to accomplish. But yet he continues to work to be a better player.”

“It’s just a matter of going out there and doing what I’ve been doing the past couple years, which is just trying to stay ahead of my training,” Howard said. “Just making sure my body is staying good and staying healthy. I feel that what I’ve been doing over the past couple years, I feel pretty confident that down the road I’ll be right where I want to be.”

via Howard signs five-year extension | News.