Monday, April 26, 2010

Phillies' Howard signs extension

Phillies slugger Ryan Howard  has signed a five-year, $125 million dollar contract extension with the club.

The five-year extension will pay Howard $20 million in each of the 2012 and 2013 seasons and $25 million per year from 2014-16. The club option for 2017 is worth $23 million with a $10 million buyout. The extension includes awards bonuses and a limited no-trade provision.

Howard, 30, is hitting .275 with three home runs and 16 RBI this season and has started all 18 of the Phillies' games thus far.

In his major league career, Howard has won the National League Rookie of the Year and MVP Awards in successive seasons (2005-06), is a two-time NL All-Star (2006, 2009), won a Silver Slugger Award (2006) and was named MVP of the National League Championship Series last year. In his MVP season of 2006, Howard set a Phillies single-season record with 58 home runs and is the all-time franchise leader in postseason RBI (27).

Since becoming an everyday player on July 1, 2005, Howard leads all major league players in home runs (222) and RBI (650). Last season, Howard became just the fourth player in major league history to have four straight 40 home run/130 RBI seasons, joining Hall of Famer Babe Ruth (7), Ken Griffey Jr. (4) and Sammy Sosa (4), and the fastest player ever to 200 home runs (658 games), besting Ralph Kiner's previous record by 48 games.

Originally selected by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 2001 draft, Howard enters play tonight with a career .279 batting average, 225 home runs and 656 RBI in 750 games, all with Philadelphia. He currently ranks in fifth place on the Phillies' all-time home run list, behind Mike Schmidt (548), Del Ennis (259), Pat Burrell (251), and Chuck Klein (243). His .583 slugging percentage is the best in club history.

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