Howard and Phillies agree to $125 million contract (2)

10:16, April 28, 2010      

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The two-time All-Star led the Phillies to two straight trips to the World Series, winning a championship in 2008.

The $25 million guaranteed average salary in the extension will be baseball's second-highest behind Alex Rodriguez's $27.5 million average under a 10-year contract with the Yankees running through to 2017.

Howard was happy to land a new deal now and avoid the craziness that would have come once he was eligible for free agency after the 2011 season, when he will be 32.

All-Star right fielder Jayson Werth was thrilled for Howard, but uncertain how this might affect his chances of staying put in Philly beyond this season. He has had preliminary discussions with the team about an extension but said, "I think they've been busy with Ryan".

Werth is making $7 million this year, the final season of his $10 million, two-year contract.

Amaro said Howard's contract is structured to give the club flexibility to keep players like Werth and shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Rollins' $8.5 million club option for 2011 was exercised in December. The 2007 NL Most Valuable Player is making $7.5 million this year, the final season originally guaranteed under the $40 million, five-year extension he signed in June 2005.

"Acutally we'd like to keep all those guys," Amaro said. "Hopefully we can keep this group together."

After being briefly stuck in the minors while Jim Thome manned first for the Phillies, Howard was the 2005 Rookie of the Year at 25, the same age A-Rod signed his first free-agent deal - $252 million with Texas in 2001.

Howard, the 2006 NL MVP, is earning $19 million this season as part of a $54 million, three-year deal that pays him $20 million in 2011.

He signed that deal in Feb 2009, avoiding a potentially contentious arbitration hearing.

Source:China Daily

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(Editor:intern1)

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