Monday, February 26, 2007

Friday could make Ryan Howard a millionaire!

Thome signed with the Phils in Dec 2002, for six years $85 million guaranteed
he was 32 years old at that signing... pic by R. Baxter

Well, Friday is the deadline for the Phillies to come to agreement with Ryan Howard. He is the only unsigned player on the team as of today. I think the Phillies should make him a millionaire with this signing, giving him $1 million base salary which is more than the Cardinals paid Albert Pujols who at the time had less than 2 years of MLB experience.

This should be a sign that the Phils are making a great commitment towards their new "Franchise Player" even though Ryan is not officially that yet. Make it fun for Ryan and the fans this year. Give him a clause with a $500,000 bonus if he repeats as the 'Homerun King' as he did last year. That would make everything even more interesting!

Ryan is undoubtedly going to be cashing in after next year with a multi-year deal as Chase Utley did this year. I think he may toy with the $100-120 million dollar range over 7-8 years with some bonuses thrown in for good measure. Or will the deal be shorter? How about 5 years 70-80 million? This way in case Ryan turns into H.R. Puffinstuff and makes to many trips to McDonalds and balloons up to 295 lbs ala Mo Vaughn late in his career.... :)

Wow, that is a lot of money! Superstars deserve a premium price, and I really had my doubts that Ryan would fill the shoes left by Jim Thome but he filled them very nicely and even hit them out of the park! Thome's 2002 deal was for $85 million guaranteed over 6 years with an overall worth of around $94 million. He was a seasoned veteran already at the signing of that contract having been with the Indians for 11 seasons and the last year he was with the Indians, Thome hit 52 homeruns which is his career high. That was five years ago, so expect this salary number to rise for Howard, it all depends on the length of the contract. If I am the Phillies I want to go about 5-6 years and not spend the farm on him, if I am Howard's agent I go for a 7-8 year $120 million plus once Howard is eligible for such negotiations.

Time will tell what the Phils do, they aren't in business to give away the club's money but in this case, superstars don't come around like Ryan very often. Make a nice commitment this year and if the numbers come anywhere near last years for Ryan, call the Brinks trucks and have them make a trip down to the treasury building because Ryan Howard is going to be a very rich man!

Rich Baxter / Philly Sports Talk Now!

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