The Fightins'
Apr
27
2010
Mornin’ Dash: On Ryan Howard
Posted by at 8:48 am ET 112 Comments

Yesterday, CSN’s Jim Salisbury first broke the news that Ryan Howard and the Philadelphia Phillies had agreed on a contract extension for five years and in the neighborhood of $125MM. The news came as somewhat of a surprise, given Amaro’s steadfast claims that the payroll was at capacity and furthermore, there was neither hide nor hair of the possibility of an extension occurring this season.

Needless to say, it was a stunner.

Word spread fast, as it tends to do on the internet, and within minutes, every pundit, blogger, sportswriter, and casual fan had given their two cents on the deal.

While most of the fans were thrilled about the idea of Howard remaining in red pinstripes for the better part of the next decade, the objective sportswriter, by and large, was not.

And it make sense that there is a healthy amount of skepticism and head scratching emanating from this news. After all, history has shown us that big bodied power hitters tend to age less gracefully than…well, most any other type of player. Kind of like the film career of Casper Van Dien.

NBC’s Craig Calceterra had this to say…

Here’s a list of Ryan Howard’s most comparable players through age 29 — his age for the 2009 season — according to Baseball-Reference.com: Richie Sexson, Cecil Fielder, Mo Vaughn, Willie McCovey, David Ortiz, Tony Clark, Mark McGwire, Carlos Delgado, Fred McGriff and Norm Cash. The only two guys on that list who didn’t fall off a cliff before age 36 are McCovey and McGriff, and they were a heck of lot skinnier than even Ryan Howard v.2.0 is. The rest of those names should constitute nightmare fuel for Phillies fans.

The problem with this list, aside from the part where you are comparing different players and drawing a conclusion about one based on the others, is that…well, you can’t compare them. There is a bit of a logical fallacy at play there, however slight.

Also – Richie Sexson? Tony Clark? Really?

In a few aspects, Howard compares to some of these players, like Mo Vaughn and Carlos Delgado, but let’s be serious about something: The bulk of players on that that list played in an era where performance enhancing drugs were the norm. And as such, their bodies broke down as a result of usage, or because they stopped using. Or in the case of Vaughn or Fielder, because hefty hitters don’t last too long into their thirties.

Truth is, there is no telling how Howard will age. When you think about it, he hasn’t been in the game for that long, at least not at the highest level where the rigors and wear-and-tear are greater than in the minors. But if there is one thing we do know, it’s that Howard has shown, year over year, the desire and willingness to take care of himself, so that he may extend his career. And the results have been staggering. Ryan Howard in 2008 looks very different from the Howard in 2009. And that version looks different from the one who is taking the field this season.

That being said, you can count me among the skeptics, to a degree.

Is it a good deal, money-wise? Maybe, maybe not. It’s not my money, so I really don’t care. What I do care about is Ruben Amaro, Jr. building a great team over the next few seasons, while the opportunity still presents itself. And if signing RyHo to an extension is part of that plan, then far be it from me to speak ill of it.

But in the interest of full disclosure, the Phillies fan in me loves the idea of having Ryan Howard around in red pinstripes for what could be the rest of his career. I dig that. There are far too few of those players around; the ones that stay with the team that drafted them. Call me old fashioned or a baseball romantic, but there is something to be said about witnessing a player’s entire career arc through the prism of one uniform.

So for that reason, good for you, Ryan Howard. And side note, apropos of nothing: I have this student loan debt that I’m trying to pay off, so…I dunno, I’d really hate to ask, but can you float me a $50K spot? I’m totally good for it.

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  • DP

    Agreed. That list is a joke. Totally juice induced for the most part. Will we regret the deal on the back-end? Probably. That said, there was no middle ground, you either sign or trade the guy. Most people would have killed RAJ for letting Howard walk/trade.

  • Pelle

    Totally agree: Being a “good guy” guarentees nothing either. But the kid is never in a wink of trouble. The two options as I see them were – loose him after 2011 or give him this money. That being said, I back Amaro’s move. I grew up with Schmitty and Carlton. My 6 year old has grown up (is growing up with) Howard, Utley, Rollins etc. If even for my son’s sake, I am glad Ryan will be around. Just thinking about it off the cuff – not sure the “core” of any such team has stayed together as long as this one may now. I am happy for that, since I root for the Phillies, and I am glad my son is seeing that too – rather than a revolving door of players. This Core gives us the best shot at a World Series and I think keeping Ryan helps keep the Core together longer.

    Oh… and my son thinks the Phillies make the World Series every year. If he only had the perspective we all do, he may appreciate this timeperiod even more.

  • Adam Eaton

    @DP See that’s the way I have felt about that list. Juicers. I want to believe Big Brown has never touched the needle. Here’s to hoping he never uses P.E.D.’s in the future. I love the guy… and I think he loves all of us too.

  • DP

    @ Adam Eaton: I agree (Crossing my fingers).

  • bigmyc

    I feel that Ryan will go on to lead this league in Mmmmmm-mmmm! for the next few years.

  • Chase Mutley

    C’mon baseball world, Big Brown isn’t even so big no ‘mo. Lets see Prince Fielder flash the leather like RyHo has been the last two years.

  • http://twitter.com/j_tee_r Jdashdog

    @Adam Eaton – I waited at DQ for like 6 hours the hour day!

  • Adam Eaton

    @Jdash You fuckin’ serious? My bad. I was at Peace-A-Pizza behind the third baseline ordering from the little old lady named Jean who whips up the soft-serve. If it’s any consolation, I bought a helmet of swirl for you too. It’s melted though…

  • Cole Handsome

    Of all the comparable players listed, only David Ortiz and Mo Vaughn have been as productive as Ryan Howard over a span of three to four consecutive years. In terms of athleticism, Howard has proven that he is superior to Vaughn and Ortiz. The weakest argument against Howard is that he has a “bad body.” He was never out of shape or missed significant time because of injury. In fact, over time, his reflexes in the field have greatly improved and his swing has not slowed.

    The problem with the deal is that Howard is being paid largely on past success. It is doubtful that he will improve; he will likely play at the same or lesser level over the term of the contract. He will likely never hit .300 again or have an OBP over .400 (because of the shift). He will likely strike out at a comparable level and his speed will diminish. He has probably reached his ceiling in RBIs, slugging and home runs. By the time he is 36, his skills will have diminished and his trade value will be nil, unless he takes the Barry Bonds cream treatment.

  • bigmyc

    Were you being held hostage or something?

  • bigmyc

    CHandsome; why would you bring up speed in reference to Howard’s game? Was it ever factored into his titanic offensive numbers or does it have anything to do with his blossoming fielding?

    I disagree with the K numbers. I believe he will continue to be committed to becoming an all around baseball threat and that includes making more contact. As he gets older, he will make more contact. In turn, so will his BA. I’m not saying that he’ll hit .300, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he does once or twice more.

    And so what if he’s reached his RBI and power ceiling? If the guy still knocks in 120 and bangs out 40+ for the next half decade, that’s about what the Phillies expect. He’s being paid to be the broad foundation of a potent lineup. In the coming half decade, I believe he’ll do just that.

  • http://twitter.com/j_tee_r Jdashdog

    Well I hope you saved me the helmet at least.

    Anyway, Howard is going to kill 1, maybe 2 baseballs tonight. I knew he wouldn’t do shit last night with the whole contract hulabaloo looming over the day. And Joe Buck should’ve totally called the game last night. He would’ve had a field day with how shitty our hitting with RISP was.

  • James Fayleez

    Please stop calling him BIG BROWN. It’s a stupid nickname.
    It makes me think of doody.
    And that’s gross.

    I really wish I could NOT care about what the Phillies spend to build the team, but when they cite financial hardship as a reason why they can’t keep a good pitcher for the last year of his deal to have a great 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation, then I have to care about the money.

    I hope Howard keeps producing for the next 5 years.

  • bigmyc

    I gotta helmut for ya.

  • crazy4swayze

    they couldn’t have thrown up a phillies curtain for that press conference? until last night i just assumed they had traded howard to the giants.

  • Cole Handsome

    If Howard continues to produce as he has had for the next five years, he will be in the Hall of Fame. If he doesn’t, then he will be grossly overpaid. I guess the moral is that the Phillies can now afford to take these risks.

  • Goldman Sachs

    This Ryan Howard deal makes no sense. Everyone knows Howard should be traded before he bottoms out….which could be soon. Trust us, we could see to that.

  • Phylan

    you’re wrong and here’s why: mathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmathmath

  • http://twitter.com/j_tee_r Jdashdog

    Dude, nobody is wrong yet. No judgment can be made until either Howard starts to suck or has continued success deep into his contract. It’s not like they won’t expand payroll anyway.

  • Watrick

    So, is Jim Salisbury going to win this week’s “Weekly Beat-Off”, or is that just a thing of the past?

  • Pelle

    I saw on a TV show (probably during a rain delay) JRoll say he calls Ryan Big Brown- Because “he delivers” … kind of like UPS for the feeble minded out there.

  • http://twitter.com/lonettomb maxL

    MATH MATH MATH MATH MATH MATH MATH MATH MATH MATH MATH MATH MATH MATH MATH MATH

    EVERYBODY

  • http://twitter.com/lonettomb maxL

    No but in all seriousness, I think Treyhorn just convinced me to drink the kool-aid.

  • mvptommyd

    Ugh. And I thought the Lee debate would never end.

    This Howard deal debate will be like the Lee Trade times 10.

  • Watrick

    The Phillies never claimed it was financial reasons that they got rid of Cliff Lee. Everyone on 610 and 97.5 just thinks that, and tells you to think that. They said right away, it was a baseball decision to restock their farm system.

  • James Fayleez

    “It’s not like they won’t expand payroll anyway.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA -

  • John K

    I don’t know… between the rushed shipment of Lee, Ibanez, Polanco, and this Howard deal I’m really starting to lose faith in Amaro. You look at other teams’ GMs and just wonder what the hell is going on in their heads. I hope that won’t be us w/in two/three years

    Love Howard personally but I this deal is a head-scratcher for certain. Ruben’s making it tough to trust the process right now

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Howard isn’t going to be worth $25 million AAV, it’s that simple. He’s not going to be worth A-Rod money. Yes, his dedication to improving his conditioning and fielding has been admirable, but hitting is not a skill that you make tremendous advancements in past the age of 25 or so. He’s not going to suddenly learn better plate discipline, or learn how to not get blown away by left-handed pitching. Seriously, you can neutralize Ryan Howard by putting any shitty left-handed reliever on the mound. I love Ryan Howard, but he’s an entirely one-dimensional player. If he played elite defense at a premium position, MAYBE this contract makes sense, but even then probably not.

    And why now? His contract ran through 2011. If Ruben was dying to throw this much money at him, why not wait until next season? To at least see how his production progresses? Did they think he’d suddenly be worth MORE than $25 mil AAV next year? Really?

    “It’s not my money” is fucking stupid. It’s the franchise you root for. You should care about how they’re investing their resources.

  • http://twitter.com/j_tee_r Jdashdog

    wtfuck is so funny about that James Fayleez? I’m not talking about this year or even next. But by the time his extension money is actually being paid to and CBP has had its 200 consecutive sellout there’s no way they can’t expand payroll.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    At this rate they’re going to have to if they want a 25 man roster!

  • http://twitter.com/j_tee_r Jdashdog

    Fuck you all. I’m going to hang out at Chicks Dig the Longball because something about chicks that are really into baseball turns me on.

  • chris

    james- pretty sure raj never said money was the reason they couldn’t keep lee this year. money was the reason they couldn’t resign him. howard is already on the books for the next 2 years, so this extension has no bearing until 2012.

    now, enough of all this salary and statistics talk. can we please find another boob shot to throw up on this site????

  • chris

    ooops. didn’t mean to ride your coattails jdash.

    but seriously guys, more boobs?

  • 85

    You should care about how they’re investing their resources.

    I do. I care that they signed Ryan Howard for the annual salary of what they paid Adam Eaton over three years. That alone makes it acceptable to me.

    I applaud them for being the first to move on the first baseman class. The first guy to sign is going to set the market. The rest are going to try to break the scale. That’s how it’s gone forever. Pujols was going to get more than $25 million anyway. Prince is going to be a Scott Boras mess. Gonzalez? Give me Howard. When the rest of these guys sign, it’s going to be pretty clear that this is what the market would have dictated. I’m just happy it’s done and he’s here.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    OK let me know how happy you are in 3 years bud

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    And feel free to let me know why they had to do it right now.

  • Adam Eaton

    @Phylan I’ve been waiting patiently to use this and now it’s time to pull it out. This soundbite is for you… http://www.soundboard.com/sb/xcrib.aspx

  • Harry

    “When the rest of these guys sign, it’s going to be pretty clear that this is what the market would have dictated. I’m just happy it’s done and he’s here.”

    You do know that we didn’t have to re-sign Howard, right? First base is the most easily replaceable position. It would have been 100 time smarter to resign Werth and using the rest of the money for other needs.

  • http://twitter.com/j_tee_r Jdashdog

    Yeah Harry, the LOLMets have had great success trying to replace Delgado at 1st.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Adam Eaton, first of all, bookmark this so people don’t have to deal with that shitty soundboard implementation in the future: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-GaXa8tSBE

    Second, you’re probably more worthless than the actual pitcher, although considerably less well paid I would imagine.

  • Adam Eaton

    Aww, you’re so angry. I like that. You want to personally attack me to make up for your own short commings? Probably because no one this board gives a fuck about your pessimistic view of everything under the sun, right? If you are looking for more attention, go play in traffic. I’m sure they’ll put your story on the front page of Philly.com in heartbeat. Until next time… :)

  • Harry

    “Yeah Harry, the LOLMets have had great success trying to replace Delgado at 1st.”

    So you’ve reached this conclusion based off of one team’s failed attempt? Makes sense…

  • Harry

    @Adam Eaton

    Phylan > you

  • GP

    There’s one fundamental problem with this deal.

    Ryan Howard is probably worth somewhere around 25 million dollars a year right now. He was probably worth that last season, and he’ll probably be worth that next season.

    But this deal is paying him to be AS good for the next 5 seasons as he is right now. He would have to be an absolute monster to keep up that kind of production for that long, and almost no one is. Howard is worth the 25 million now, but in a couple years, he’ll probably only be worth 10-15, which will mean 10 million dollars of waste per year once he declines.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    I love how everyone thinks I’m angry when I tell them what a dumbface they’re being

  • http://twitter.com/j_tee_r Jdashdog

    Oh man, small sample size! My bad. My motherfucking bad. How the fuck is our right fielder not replaceable? I love Werth as much as the next guy but there’s a guy waiting in the wings that everyone, including the proprietor of the fine blog, is chomping at the bit to see. But oh no! Then we’ll have too many lefties in the lineup! Cot dammit, maybe you pricks would be happy if we never became WFC and were still wallowing in our own mediocrity. Then none of this would ever be an issue because the payroll would be at $95 million.

    @Harry

    Luis A Rosado > you

  • http://www.myspace.com/gabriellejuliet/ Gabrielle

    DP brings up a good point 45 comments ago – if the Phils let Howard go, everyone would be freaking the fuck out.

    Everybody sit back, unpucker, and put your WWRAJD bracelets back on. We’ll be fine.

  • Ryan Howard’s Momma

    Hee hee hee hee hee.

  • bigmyc

    So, um, Howard’s production is just gonna trickle down to the tune of 80 RBI, .250 BA 28 ding dongs and yet his K rate will stay right where it is?

    Do I have this straight? Cause if I do, I think most of you are insane in your membranes.

    This guy is simply gonna produce 120 RBI, bat .275, slam 40 big ones and I BET he’ll cut those K’s down a little as he matures as a hitter.

    So, what’s not to like?

    This may signal the end of Jay Werth as a Phillie, which sux, but there’s always Jason Heyw..err…Domonic Brown in the wings.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Uh yeah, I would not freak out if they let him walk after 2011, if the alternative is this contract.

    And Dash, I think Brown will be a star but it’s no guarantee. Werth is late-blooming into his prime years now, at a more important position than 1B. I’m not saying throw the world at him, but he’s worth an extension.

    I never cared about lefty/right shit, especially considering Utley is just fine against LHPs.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Listen to bigmyc, he knows when a player will go against the grain of all aging sluggers to come before him, and defy all the most accurate projections. Because he said so!

  • VonHayes

    Werth will sign.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    And Laughing Out Loud at “matures as a hitter” being applied to a 30 year old

  • VonHayes

    I’m having a hard time believing that Rhyno is not the best 1st basemen in the league, fuck Pujols.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    hahahaha

  • RedBurb

    Hey Jdashdog – The Twins replaced Kent Hrbek with Justin Morneau. It only took them 15 years.

  • Adam Eaton

    @RedBurb Yeah? Well we replaced Mike Schmidt with Dave Bell at one point… pretty sweet, right?

  • RedBurb

    I love the argument that it is easy to find a 1B who hits 30+ HRs and 100 Ribs when half the league can’t find power-hitting first basemen.

  • http://www.TheFightins.com Dash Treyhorn

    @phylan I am also a fan of Domonic, and I think he makes the roster next year as the left fielder. Right next to Victorino and Werth. If you ask me, Howard’s deal is merely a precursor to Werth’s.

  • bigmyc

    @Phylan, don’t take too much offense to this because you seem like such a swell guy, but I don’t think you know what a good ballplayer would look like unless you were showered with statistics and had someone translate the English description of his tools into SABRese.

    Basically, I don’t think you can see the forest through the freak’n trees, chief.

  • Lynniemac

    Could someone please explain to me (without insulting me, preferably) why it has to be Werth that Domonic Brown replaces? Aren’t there two other outfield positions where he could play? Not that I’m looking to get rid of Shane (though I think an argument could conceivably be made for that), but Raul’s getting up there in years and hasn’t exactly set the world on fire going back to the break last year.

  • Lynniemac

    I should hit refresh before I comment. Dash kinda covered my question. Oops.

  • bigmyc

    AND, I just don’t think Howard can simply be compared to every other smash’n bash cookie cutter hitter over the years.

    I hear Ortiz. I hear Kingman. I hear Vaughn.

    The guy who I feel he is similar to is Willie McCovey. McCovey was a bigger guy with pop and athleticism who cut his K’s down measurably as he “matured as a hitter.” Howard, based upon his approach when he came up, is someone I feel could train himself to make more contact…to be a better hitter situationally. I could be wrong, but I wouldn’t compare the guy to the typical power hitting strikeout machine.

  • Morandini Turned Three

    For all those asking “why now?” I’m sticking with the idea (hopefully not a pipe dream) that Rube did it now to give himself some payroll certainty as he begins trying to extend Werth. You heard it here first, campers.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    @Phylan, don’t take too much offense to this because you seem like such a swell guy, but I don’t think you know what a good ballplayer would look like unless you were showered with statistics and had someone translate the English description of his tools into SABRese.

    Haha, ok guy.

    And people call ME smug.

  • bigmyc

    What’s more, Howard might be at 30 years of age, but this is only his fifth season in the bigs. I guess the Genius Consortium forgets that he entered the league at the tender age of 26…

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Dash and Morandini, if they signed Werth anyway, it would certainly take some of the sting out of this. It wouldn’t change the numbers, but it would make me feel marginally better about it.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    bigmyc, physical decline is predicated on age, not service time, which is a pretty rich mistake for you to make after accusing me of not knowing what good ballplayer was (additionally weird because I never said Howard wasn’t good?)

  • http://twitter.com/Gaze_NJ Gaze_NJ

    I’m on Team Phylan.

    Considering that Howard is at the ripe age when drop-offs from people his stature occur, letting this season and perhaps even 2011 play out would have given a few more years to project what type of game Howard will have for the next 5. It’s an unnecessary risk to make such an extreme commitment at this point.

  • Ace

    Just throwing this out there. Wouldn’t be unheard of to give him the contract he wants, and then in a few years, trade him elsewhere when the team knows they’ll have him under contract for a few seasons.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    It wouldn’t be unheard of, but it would be difficult — the contract includes a partial no-trade clause, and few teams would be equipped to take on that kind of salary.

  • Heathcliff Slocumb

    If I get a little help on my student loans, too, I’m totally all for this deal.

  • Lynniemac

    @Phylan: I figured the amount of the contract was as good as a no-trade, but there’s a partial clause, too?

  • bigmyc

    Weirder still, Phylan, is that I wasn’t taking the physical ange there. I was taking the experience angle…as in; he hasn’t matured as a hitter even though he’s 30. It’s more like; he hasn’t matured yet as a hitter BECAUSE he is only 30. Physical decline in terms of his experience was never ushered forth.

    You’ve gone and twisted up the points. What the hell am I gonna do with you?

    “Only a fool lean upon his own misunderstanding.” – Robert Marley

  • bigmyc

    Also, the “trade him in the future” theory has much merit to it. That was something else that I had originally wanted to put forward. Thanx for bringing it to light, Ace.

    There will be plenty of teams ready and willing most probably to take on Howard’s salary. And by “plenty” I mean the Yankees.

  • bigmyc

    Aaaaaaand….if they deem this deal to be disadvantageous in hindsight say…in two years..they’ll have to pull the trigger on a deal before his skills clearly begin to diminish.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Why would the Yankees do that when there are at least 2 superior first baseman that they could break the bank on if they really wanted to? Not to mention that they have Teixeira locked up until 2016 anyway?

    @lynnie That’s what beat writer Matt Gelb tweeted, although I haven’t seen the details of it. Probably something like he can list 10 teams where he won’t go, or something. You’re right about the amount, anyway.

  • the_Dude

    Hey remember when that girls boob popped out? That was cool.

  • http://twitter.com/j_tee_r Jdashdog

    Albert and who else?

  • bigmyc

    Phylan, who says that the Big Piece has to play 1st?

    In the American League they utilize this mysterious lineup spot called, “a designated hitter.”

  • bigmyc

    lol @ the Dude.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Prince. Honestly I could list the 1B I consider to be better value, considering age and production, than Howard, but bigmyc’s top would probably blow.

    @bigmyc fair enough, but they can find cheaper DHs elsewhere, especially considering how their lineup will look.

  • Heathcliff Slocumb

    jdash stole my words.

    If the Yankees took Howard, he most definitely would not be playing 1st

  • bigmyc

    Phylan, dontcha get it by now? The Yankees are that one team that likes making a splash above all else. They covet that big fish FA and the headlines that go along with it…maybe not in that order either.

    The Yankees signing Ryan Howard, already an MVP winner and fastest man to get to 200 bombs (among other things) would certainly be such a pull for them.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Phylan, dontcha get it by now? The Yankees are that one team that likes making a splash above all else. They covet that big fish FA and the headlines that go along with it…maybe not in that order either.

    The Yankees signing Ryan Howard, already an MVP winner and fastest man to get to 200 bombs (among other things) would certainly be such a pull for them.

    ahaha

    ahahahaha

    ahhahahahahahahaha

    such a world you live in, such a world

  • Phan Stuck in nyc

    I’m with ya Lynnie – I don’t get why Brown being brought up means Werth has to go.

    Ryan Howard took time from talking about his many millions yesterday to say that he considers Werth “a big piece of the puzzle”. Then Rube kind of said they were hoping Howard’s contract helped make it easier to re-sign Werth and Rollins for extended deals. Interesting to hear esp after he said they “couldn’t field a team of $15mil players.”

    “We feel like the way we structured the contract gives us a little bit of flexibility to be able to [keep the club together] as far as Jayson and Jimmy and others who will become free agents in the future.” “… naturally, we’d like to keep all those guys. We’ll go on a case-by-case basis, and hopefully we can keep this group together. We’ll see how the pieces of the puzzle end up fitting for us.”

    Werth’s agent Jeff Borris apparently has been given his directive by his client b/c he said, “I think the Phillies have a good thing going there and I’d want to keep the nucleus of that ballclub together.”

    Werth has always said he wants to stay. Yesterday he said, “I think we’ve started something here, and I think everybody wants to finish it,” Werth said.

    So it sounds like everyone is going to try to keep Werth (and Rollins) around for a while.

  • Phan Stuck in nyc

    So maybe this whole thing works out for everyone. Ticket prices might go up, but . . . lol.

  • http://www.whereisbenrivera.com Where is Ben Rivera?

    @ Phylan

    If Howard can “reinvent” (for lack of a better term) himself in the next few years, wouldn’t that soften the blow of his contract a bit?

    Meaning, in a phrase, walk more. Become more selective. Lay off the breaking ball in the dirt from lefties. Howard can’t control the aging process, but he can control what pitches he swings at. I don’t believe that Howard will justify the years and amount of his contract in the latter stages of his career (I love the guy, but this deal was just too much), but he can take necessary steps in increasing his value when his power begins to diminish.

    ie: Staying in good shape (He’s done a good job in recent years) and increasing his OB% (it’s a work in progress, especially against lefties).

    He walked over 100 times in 2006 and 2007. He walked just 75 times last season. That’s roughly another 25 times on base, which is roughly four games worth of plate appearances. 35 year-old Ryan won’t be as productive as 30 year-old Ryan, but hopefully not every facet of his game has to trend downward. A smarter, wiser, more mature Ryan Howard.

    So I hope anyway.

  • mvptommyd

    @Phan in NYC: I agree. After reading Rube quotes and hearing Monty on 610 this morning, I no longer think this means Werth is gone.

    I think that for one year (next year) they will bite the bullet and give Werth his 4 yr/ 62 mil deal. Also, extend Jimmy.

    This whole Howard thing is out of hand. He is here for his foreseeable career and by the time 2016 rolls around we will be fielding a team full of young guys that will keep the payroll within the owners budget. And by young guys I mean Aumont, Mays, Cosart, Brown, Glavis, etc…

    So Phylan, just calm down buddy it will be ok….

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    @Where Is Ben Rivera Yes, if Howard could fix his biggest flaws — inability to hit LHPs, breaking balls, and a lack of walks — it would certainly soften the blow. Unfortunately, nobody his age has ever been able to really do that. Fixing your conditioning and defense is one thing, and I do give him an enormous amount of credit for busting his ass to do that, but those kinds of enormously complicated hitting skills require years and years of development (and a lot of built-in abilities to begin with), so I would not bet money on Howard figuring that stuff out at 30.

  • bigmyc

    Great non-comeback there, fella.

  • Lynniemac

    @Stuck Phan: I saw Ruben’s comments and found them encouraging, but then again…he wouldn’t be the first GM to say one thing about wanting to keep a player and meaning something else.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Lynnie is right, team reps and their agents say that exact same thing all the time, no matter what they actually think the likelihood of something like that is.

    And bigmyc, I’m sorry if that was unsatisfactory, but I can’t really have a discussion with you if that’s how you think a major league front office works, Yankees or otherwise.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    By the way, I know everyone hates Keith Law and all, but give this a listen: http://bit.ly/d9fX6H

    It’s a radio interview he did with 97.3 ESPN. He basically nails the problems with this extension, to the letter. Even if you hate Law/stats/SABR, just listen to it. He doesn’t get into stats or anything, he just very reasonably lays out the problems with it. Tell me what’s unreasonable about what he says.

  • will.H

    If he was overpaid.. by how much was he paid more than he’s worth? And.. why does that upset people? couple mil a year? 10 mil a year? is he worthless?

    this conversation aggrivates me. everyone is worried about 2016. Im worried about 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. He’ll be 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36. You really think he’ll diminish because Keith Law says so? Because ‘fat dudes’ lose whatever athleticism they had? Ryan cuts weight, puts in extra time, improves parts of his game.. all things other players on that list weren’t willing to do other than a little inspiration from a needle.

  • will.H

    we just signed a 30 some year old pitcher and everyone creamed their undies. He makes 20 mil a year to pitch once a week. why? cause he’s good and shit. where was the anger?

  • bigmyc

    Like you’ve ever been associated with a Major League front office let alone Steinbrenner’s operation.

    If Ryan Howard was mentioned in a faux trade with Pujols to the extent that many people bought into it, don’t you think he’s good enough for the Yankees to covet?

    Your inability to see the world through the eyes of anyone but a insurance company risk analyst/ accountant must be so limiting for you.

  • http://twitter.com/j_tee_r Jdashdog

    Phylan free yourself from mental slavery. And that Keith Law interview was a waste of my life.

  • http://twitter.com/j_tee_r Jdashdog

    bigmyc, are you a mongo or something? You have no idea how baseball works. From now on please submit your comments to Phylan for approval before posting.

  • The First John

    100th

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    hahahaha ok fine! fine bigmyc, the Yankees sign free agents and make trades for the headlines. I concede! Brian Cashman is a big fame-hunting NY Post whore. A-Rod is literally a centaur.

    And that Keith Law interview was a waste of my life.

    Yeah this is about as substantive as all of the other criticisms of it that I’ve seen

  • http://twitter.com/lonettomb maxL

    Hey, guess what I’m tired of talking/hearing/reading/knowing about!

  • bigmyc

    Lemme give you the Whitey Ashburn retort to Law’s supposition that Utley’s on base frequency is the engine that drives this offense (which I agree with only to the extent that Howard not be excluded from consideration); Well, who do you think is driving Utley in for all those runs?

    Secondly, he mentioned Utley being paid far less than Howard in Utley’s last year of his contract…well, how much more money do you think Utley’s been paid than the Big Piece so far? It’s been quite a bit.

    This last post by you makes perfect sense. You and Law appear to be kindred spirits. Matter-o-fact, if I didn’t know that Law worked for an MLB franchise at one point, I’d have thought that YOU were Law himself operating on this blog site with the pseudonym, “Phylan.”

  • bigmyc

    Jdog, nice werk gettin’ irie.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    You’re just adorable man I’m making this face irl right now http://img.waffleimages.com/46c6f41b93e9025768582317dd2a6004e48452db/emot-allears.gif

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    image host fail. fortunately I give no fuck

  • bigmyc

    And we needn’t look any further than the guy who, year after year, has the closest viewpoint on Howard at the plate, Jayson Werth to lend us some clarity as to Howard’s value.

    When asked what it was like to hit in this Phillies lineup and in particular, after Howard, his response was typically Werthian when it comes to brevity and poignancy; “when I get to the plate after Ryan, a lotta of the time, there’s nobody on base.”

  • Phan Stuck in nyc

    mvptommyd & Lynnie — You know the nano sec I posted I thought, crap. I know Rube’s lying, it’s his job to be Beelzebub – a lighting rod for all things bad. Eh . . I get the agent thing too, I work in a business that sadly uses agents. But maybe I’m choosing to be hopeful b/c he didn’t have to say anything at all and when he talked about it before he was openly negative. This is a change. Also Ryan sounded like he wanted the team cohesiveness, er something like that. He specifically talked about Werth w/Rube sitting next to him.

    So I’m just going to go with the doofus idea that this will/maybe/hopefully/somehow work out and leave it at that . . . and I’ll keep reading everyone else’s thoughts on what’s going on.

  • Phan Stuck in nyc

    Ha, yeah- bigmyc: ‘Werthian’ – A dude of few words. Saw him say that in the dvd.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Tamberelli LuvsMeSomeTamberelli

    OH GOODNESS, Phylan and bigmyc, you are truly the wittiest and most insightful people on this board! Your devil-may-care attitudes and careful analyses of the “Fighting” Phils is glorious! MORE, I say, MORE!

  • bigmyc

    Who but Tamberelli?

  • bigmyc

    Which, btw, happened to be thee most uninteresting Wikipedias ever read by me even in light of the fact that Iggy Pop and blowing amps were mentioned.

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