Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Would YOU Take a $4,000,000 Raise?

The Phillies' website is reporting that first-baseman Ryan Howard is seeking $18 million for 2009 in arbitration. The club has supposedly offered Howard $14 million, which is a $4 million raise from 2008.

The question that GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. needs to answer is how valuable is Howard's overall contribution to the club? Last year, Howard played the first half of the year like he was Dave Kingman - hitting around .220 and striking out a whole lot, with some towering, majestic home runs strewn among the mediocrity. The second half he came back and began playing like the Ryan Howard who should have been paid $10 million, culminating in a .281 average over the last 10 games of the season, pulling his overall average up to .251 for the year, to go with 48 home runs and and 146 RBIs.

Those power numbers are right in line with past seasons (47 HR, 136 RBI in '07; 58 HR, 149 RBI in '06), but his batting average has tumbled from .313 two years ago. Add to that the fact that his defense is iffy at best, and do you really have an $18 million player?

I happen to like Ryan Howard, and I'd like nothing more than to see him stay with the Phils. So far, the club has come to arbitration-avoiding deals with Cole Hamels, Greg Dobbs, Ryan Madson and Shane Victorino. Can they bridge the $4 million gap with Howard before arbitration? Better question: should they?

1 comment:

  1. I like baseball a lot, but I don't follow it, but if I did. it would be the Yanks. That said, I would accept a $4 million raise, no questions aske - tho that was they obvious answer, right?