Now the Phillies will have 2 players making roughly $40M dollars (Howard/Halladay) which will hinder the team in allocating money to other positions of need. Ryan Howard is a tremendous talent, one of the best pure power hitters the game has seen in awhile and I love having him on this team. 40+ homerun season for the next few years can be expected. After that though his bat will slow, his mobility in the field will lessen, and his value will drop...certainly not worth the $23M or so he'll be making.
This is just not a good deal. As many baseball analysis are saying- "The new worst deal in baseball." Ouch!
I don't think it's the worst deal ever, but I do think it's bad. Howard is an elite class of sluggers right now and probably remains there for 2-3 more seasons. After that though, his average will dip lower than it already is, his power will decrease, and rbis won't come as easily.
Also, this Howard deal was unnecessary. Why lock him up now? It's not like they got a discount. Pujols, Fielder, and others were set to become free agent 1st basemen the same year as Howard. The Yankees can't sign all of them, nor would they because of Teixeira. Just like the Jamie Moyer deal, they (Ruben Amaro Jr. & the Phillies brass) bid against themselves. Just seems foolish.
Let's take a look at what Philadelphia will be spending money on as the 2012 season dawns. Roy Halladay is signed for $20MM. Howard, too, is signed for $20MM. Chase Utley is signed for $15.3MM. Joe Blanton is signed for $10.5MM, Shane Victorino for $9.5MM, Placido Polanco for $6.4MM, Carlos Ruiz for $3.7MM, and almost certainly, Brad Lidge will be given a $1.5MM buyout. That's $87MM going to seven players to play and one player to not play.
~Major League Trade Rumors
Wow, that's a lot of holes to fill, 15 roster spots.
This contract means that, over the first 10 seasons of his career, Howard will earn approximately $190.5 million. No player -- not A-Rod, not Mauer, not Derek Jeter, not Albert Pujols -- has equaled that number, in this or any other era.
So the Phillies think Ryan Howard is the best player, because they're certainly rewarding him like he is.
Howard is awesome, but he plays a position deep with talen in the Majors, one that can be easily plugged.
Sure a Paul Konerko or Lance Berkman aren't as productive as Howard, but could have been signed for far less years and money without a huge drop off in production. Take a look around the Majors at 1st basemen and you'll find plenty of talent.
Good to Great 1st basemen: Konerko, Berkman, Pujols, Fielder, Votto, Adrian Gonzalez, Miguel Cabrera, Teixeira, Dunn, Butler, Youkilis, Morales, Morneau, Derek Lee, Pena, Cantu. Are they all as good as Howard? No, but some aren't that far off and they come a lot cheaper.
Also, Howard isn't anywhere close to improving against lefties, in fact every season he gets worse (including this year so far). He kills righties enough to keep his OPS high though. But really, he'll never come close to that magical 1.000+ OPS again like he had in '06. He has tremendous power and a knack for collecting rbi...great!!! However, he plays a position deep with talent in the Majors and it's not like the Phils couldn't have let him walk after 2011 and signed a lesser first basemen that was still very good and allocate the money for other pressing needs around the diamond.