Friday, February 22, 2008
It took me a little while to digest the news of Ryan Howard’s $10 million-dollar arbitration award. The judgment of the arbitration panel might have immediate and far-reaching consequences for baseball, the Phillies and Ryan Howard. Here are a few things that pop to mind:
-Ryan Howard’s salary has just jumped by a factor of 11, from $900,000 to $10,000,000 … I wish I got a pay increase of that magnitude.
-Does the contested arbitration hearing mean that Howard is a goner when he becomes a free agent? Far from it. I actually think that the arbitration hearing makes it more likely, not less, that the Phillies are going to be able to re-sign Howard. Think about it: had the Phillies won the arbitration, Howard would have been smarting from the arbitrator’s ruling and probably would have sought to test his marketability when the time came. I think that Howard now might be a little more willing to re-sign because he’s getting an extra $3 million bucks now. Sure his team opposed his salary request, but the arbitrator sided with him and now his worth has been established. Precedent is set. If the Phillies take a conciliatory line in negotiations – understanding that re-signing Howard is going to cost them $100 - $120 million over the next seven to ten years – they ought to be able to get Howard on-board with a multi-year deal and take care of business this season or early next.
-This is the first time the Phillies have gone to arbitration since they did against Travis Lee in 2001.
-This is, as near as I can tell, the first time they’ve lost in arbitration.
-Now precedent has been set in terms of future arbitration awards. If Ryan Howard got $10 million, Prince Fielder can command $10 million, or more. Lots of players could see their salaries increase, which would probably drive prices higher in the free agency market.Here is a link to ESPN's Jayson Stark's report on Howard's victory.
Todd Zolecki has a nice piece in the Inquirer about Howard's victory as well. Zolecki posted a few times on the issue in the recent past. Today's post argues that re-signing Ryan Howard has just become more difficult because the arbitration ruling is making Howard more likely to ask for A-Rod type money, something I don't entirely agree with. (At $7 million or at $10 million, Ryan Howard was going to ask for more than what Alfonso Soriano got from the Cubs in 2007.) Yesterday's post is about Howard's jublient reaction to the news.
The Inquirer's Jim Salisbury has a nice analysis of Howard's award here.
Just curious. Keep up the great work.
You can just reply to this comment, I'll see it sooner or later.