Word come out today, seemingly from nowhere, that Ryan Howard has agreed to a 5 year, $125 million extension, according to CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury. The deal also includes a club option for a 6th year.
Heading into this season, it was a hot topic on who would get extended after 2010: Ryan Howard or Jayson Werth. With all of the attention being paid to the team trying to keep the payroll down this past offseason, one of those two most likely wouldn’t be getting an extension.
Since Howard has been the cornerstone of the Phillies the past few years, it makes sense to extend him. Yes, while power hitters tend to slow down as they age, Howard hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, besides his little slump he’s in now. Letting him walk or trading him would be something the Phillies just couldn’t do.
Werth exploded last year for the Phillies. He’s become an All Star in the past season and a half and is loved by many in Philadelphia, especially for his beard. He will most likely command a significant raise, and I just don’t see the Phillies keeping him unless he takes a below market deal to stay in Philly.
The Phillies have a plethora of young/semi-young outfielders ready to step up and become starters. John Mayberry, Jr., Ben Francisco, & Domonic Brown are all on the verge of becoming MLB regulars. With a year left on Raul Ibanez’ contract and Werth potentially gone after this season, those 3 will be looked at to take their places in the outfield in Philadelphia.
The Phillies team that is on the field now is due for a major shakeup in the next few years. This is just the first move of many.