Monday, December 13, 2010

Beat That Dead Horse- Howard's Contract

Here at WSBGMs we're known for finding a dead horse and beating it, because that's what we do. No rhyme, no reason. It's our site and if we feel like carrying on and on about something we'll do it. Anyway, I know the Ryan Howard contract has been hashed out previously by both Corey and myself, but I just can't let it rest. Recently I read a post on UmpBump that resparked my anger/annoyance with the contract. Let's look at the facts and you decide if it's undeserved or fair.

The contract in question- 5 years $125M.

*Ryan Howard is 31 years old. Still well within the age range of typical quality production, but likely has already maximized his growth/potential.

*He was set to become a free agent following the 2011 season. Same offseason that other slugging firstbasemen Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, and Prince Fielder were to hit the open market for bidding. The Yankees already have Mark Teixeira locked up long term at 1st, the Angels have Kendry Morales, and the Mets with Ike Davis. That leaves the Dodgers and Red Sox as big market teams that would bid on all 4. Essentially Amaro jumped the gun on the Howard extension and bid against himself.

*Since his magical MVP campaign of 2006 in which he clouted a 1.084 OPS, we've witnessed his OPS steadily drop over the past 4 seasons ('07- .976, '08- .881, '09- .931, '10- .859).

*Ryan Howard's WAR (Wins Above Replacement Player) was only 2.6 in '07, 2.8 in '08, and 2.1 in last year. Over the past 3 seasons he doesn't even crack the top 70 in the majors for WAR (this includes both batters and pitchers and takes into account position scarcity and fielding).

*Ryan Howard's defense remains subpar, mostly because of his inability to start a double play by throwing to 2nd base.

*Ryan Howard is below average against lefties- .232/.766.

*Ryan Howard is getting paid like a top-5 player. He has the 2nd highest contract in all of baseball by annual value, after only Alex Rodriguez’s bloated 2008 pact with the Yankees, and he has the 8th-largest contract by overall value. (Borrowed from UmpBump article)

*Slugging 1st basemen are a dime a dozen, just look around the Majors and you'll find a plethora of them- Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Fielder, Morneau, Huff, Dunn, Miguel Cabrera, Youkilis, Votto, Butler, Konerko, Teixeira, Pena, Berkman, and Morales that all have better or very similar OPS to Howard. And that's just players of his same position. Put him in the mix of every position and Howard's OPS hasn't cracked the top 15 in baseball any of the last 3 seasons, and ranks 19th overall during that span.

*Ryan Howard is a large man (6'4"/255), and by the time this contract is up he'll be 37 years old. Other big men of recent memory (Troy Glaus, Mo Vaughn, Cecil Fielder, Mark McGwire, Jim Thome, David Ortiz, and Frank Thomas) have not been able to remain offensive forces while playing the field (which Howard will have to do being in the NL), as they were able to DH or hardly play.
"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."
~Jayson Stark

Ryan Howard's contract...
Fair free polls

Writer's Note- I enjoy watching Ryan Howard play this great game of baseball, especially in my favorite team's uniform. However, my fanaticism doesn't blind me and keep me from looking at things objectively.

*There's even been a blog dedicated to ridding the Phillies of Howard- Trade Ryan Howard.


Rich Baxter said...

You aren't wrong for your comments on Howard.

With the money he made last season and every season henceforth with the Phillies, he should have produced a lot more in the NLCS. His production was zero.

Yes, he did become more of a singles/doubles hitter in the playoffs and during the year, but that isn't how the Phillies are paying him. You don't make $19 million and go out there and smack a couple of singles or doubles and think 'it's all good.'

This town crucified Mike Schmidt for far less than what we are starting to see with Howard. Schmidt was a Hall of Fame player and Howard has a long way to go before he is mentioned in the same breath of Schmidt.

We'll see what happens this season, but I think the love affair may be coming to an end with Howard with the fans.

GM-Carson said...

I too voted undeserved, because based on slipping production it seems that this contract will go down as a major failure that cripples the team financially in the future.

GM-Carson said...

Baseball America's Top 10 Phillies Prospects:
1. Domonic Brown, of
2. Jonathan Singleton, 1b/of
3. Brody Colvin, rhp
4. Jarred Cosart, rhp
5. Trevor May, rhp
6. Sebastian Valle, c
7. Jiwan James, of
8. Jesse Biddle, lhp
9. Domingo Santana, of
10. Aaron Altherr, of

SirAlden said...

Silly Gooses.

The last 4 years of playoffs do not happen without Ryan Howard 'The Big Piece'.

Compared to Crawford, and Werth, and for God sakes Jeter, his contract is chickenfeed.

The Big Question is whether or not Chase Utley can comeback after two years of injury to become a force once again.

Imagine you are in a School yard and you get first pick of all the Phillies Starting Players, which one do you pick from the Starting 8 who had the most impact over the last 4 years, and will have the most effect going forward the next 3 years?

Ryan Howard, silly gooses. 136-149 RBI years do not grow on trees in Phillies History. Since 1900 Howard has had 4, every single other Philadelphia Phillies Player has had 0.

Over the next 2 years Ryan is a lock to move into the top 5 all time in Phillies RBI History, amd should finish his career in the #2 spot.

GM-Carson said...

RBI are a product of men on base. Howard owes a great deal of that stat to the guys ahead on him in the lineup.

BenJah said...

howard's ridiculous contract, and siralden's ridiculous "logic" is more than enough to bring out a comment from me.

both suck.

plus, howard got his extension way before that discussion needed to happen. why not wait and see what's up before tying up those dollars.

i'm picking utley.

Gonzo Undead said...

I'm with Sir Alden. OVer the past 5 seasons, he averages 160 hits, 27 doubles, 46 homers and 136 rbis. To go along with a .374 OBP and OBP+ of 141. Those are some sick numbers that only A-Rod and Pujols can beat. Plus, he puts asses in the seats. He deserves every penny.

Bob D said...

Is Howards contract undeserved or fair? I am not a fan of these outrageous contracts so I say undeserved. I bet they could have done it for $5-6 mil less per year then the debate wouldn't be so bad. Howard is a good player and I'm glad we have him. But what about next year when we have another Thome dilema when maybe Rizzoti or Singleton show they are for real? Oh well! Too expensive! I would love to have Cliff Lee back but not at 7 years and a galizzion dollars.

Rich Baxter said...

I can't deny Howard's home runs and RBI have helped the team.

At what expense did his strikeouts and inability to come through when it really matters though hurt the Phillies more?

He strikes out and swings like a rusty gate far more times than he carries this team on his back.

The 2010 NLCS will be his worst moment of his career except for getting a few base hits. He didn't hit a home run, didn't hit a RBI, and generally looked terrible. Is this what a $19-$20 million dollar player produces? I think the Phillies just wanted to lock him up,and maybe they did well to do this last year when we see the absurdity of the Werth contract and Carl Crawford's deal. I don't know why these teams showered these guys with money either.

This upcoming season will be important for Howard and the Phillies. We've seen Howard want to progress from a home run hitter to more of a well rounded baseball player who gets on base more. I just wish he would come through more and hit left handed pitching before too long.

ripjgarcia said...

Holy crap.

SirAlden said...

And Cliff Lee likes Ryan Howard.

Cliff Lee signs back with the Phillies!

SirAlden said...

Howard was playing on a bad ankle guys.

SirAlden said...

Mike Y said it all over on The 700 Level...

Lee, Lee, Lee, Lee,
Lee Lee Lee Lee Lee Lee Lee Lee Lee,
We're talkin' fuckin' Lee.
I had a friend named Lee,
He cast a spell a spell on me.
If me and Lee and KG could be three,
Flyin' free Tenaciously,
Skinny-dippin' in a sea of Lee,
I'd propose on bended knee
To Lee Lee Lee, Lee Lee Lee,
Lee Lee,
Lee Lee Lee, Lee Lee Lee,
Lee Lee,
Le-Lut-Le-Le-Le-Lee Lee Lee,
Le-Lut-Le-Le-Le-Lee Lee,
If me, and Lee, and KG, (that's me)
Could be free, (could be three)
Plant a tree, (plant a tree)
Just for Lee, (just for Lee)
Just for Lee, (Lee)
Just for Lee!
Lee, Lee, Lee
Leeee, Leeee, Leeee:

SirAlden said...


Preserve Jon said...

Interesting that Lee took less money to join the Phils, while Werth took the money and ran. I'd give anything to be a fly on the wall in his house this morning. Wonder how he feels.

GM-Carson said...

Sir Alden- that's a Tenacious D song you typed up the lyrics to.

Still can't believe Lee is a Phillie. This doesn't happen. 4 pitchers of that caliber on one staff. Doens't happen.

ACSmitty79 said...

We won't be crippled by Howards contract for another 5 years. Seeing some of the magic Amaro has pulled over the last year, I can live with that.

I'll blaspheme again and tell you Chase Utley is the guy you all should be "worried" about. Of course Amaro can't trade him now cus it would be a repeat of last winter when we traded Lee, but Utley could land a ton back in a trade today. In two years, not so much.

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