• Howard? What About A-Rod?

    Posted by on April 27th, 2010 · Comments (40)

    So many are upset with Ryan Howard’s contract extension – saying that it’s too may years and too many dollars.

    Have these same people seen what’s left on A-Rod’s contract with the Yankees? Here it is:

    2010: $32 million – Age 35
    2011: $31 million – Age 36
    2012: $29 million – Age 37
    2013: $28 million – Age 38
    2014: $25 million – Age 39
    2015: $21 million – Age 40
    2016: $20 million – Age 41
    2017: $20 million – Age 42

    *Age at All-Star Break

    Those last 3 to 4 years on Alex’s deal with the Yankees are going to be very ugly. Hopefully, for Rodriguez’ sake, he will have built up enough good will with Yankees fans come 2014 that it will offset any bad feelings about how much he’ll be getting paid when he’s old and no longer worth those dollars…

    Comments on Howard? What About A-Rod?

    1. bfriley76
      April 27th, 2010 | 12:15 pm

      Isn’t the argument that, as talented a player as Howard is, he has too many flaws for that kind of contract. He’s terrible against lefties (and getting worse), he’s not a particularly good defender, and has a skill set that probably won’t age well, especially in the National League?

    2. bfriley76
      April 27th, 2010 | 12:24 pm

      bfriley76 wrote:

      Isn’t the argument that, as talented a player as Howard is, he has too many flaws for that kind of contract. He’s terrible against lefties (and getting worse), he’s not a particularly good defender, and has a skill set that probably won’t age well, especially in the National League?

      If I wasn’t clear enough here, what I meant to say is, isn’t most of the criticism that Howard’s current limitations make the contract a bad one immediately, while Arod’s contract will probably end up being a bad one later on when his skills start to diminish?

    3. April 27th, 2010 | 12:35 pm

      You and I don’t often see eye-to-eye on A-Rod, but I actually agree with you about the contract. I never understood why the Yanks gave him 10 years – who, exactly, were they bidding against?

      So much for all of Hank Steinbrenner’s bluster about A-Rod having to take less money after opting out, eh?

    4. SFYanks
      April 27th, 2010 | 12:38 pm

      Psssst….Howard’s no ARod.

    5. thenewguy
      April 27th, 2010 | 12:39 pm

      A-Rod’s contract is also an albatross, and it suffers some of the same problems (overpaying when you are really just bidding against yourself.) However I see 3 big differences:
      1. A-Rod is a generational talent at a semi-premium position, while Howard is an extremely good baseball player who plays 1st base.
      2. A-Rod’s contract somewhat accounts for his decline by frontloading it and taking the AAV down in the final years.
      3. It’s the Yankees… they can afford to overpay. This deal could hamstring the Phillies and prevent them from signing Werth or someone else.

      Also, A-Rod can move to the DH eventually. Although he might make for an expensive DH, he won’t be hurting anyone in the field.

      Bottom line, A-Rod’s contract is not the worst in baseball, and now there is not much debate about that. It is probably still a Top-5 worst contract, but not the worst.

    6. thenewguy
      April 27th, 2010 | 12:42 pm

      @ thenewguy:
      Let me also clarify and say that the biggest reason, by far, that A-Rod’s contract isn’t as bad as Howard’s is that this is the Yankees. Ignoring all other factors, the Yankees can afford this. They’ve overpaid for plenty of players before (Clemens, Giambi, soon-to-be Jeter), so A-Rod’s contract is nothing new.

    7. MJ Recanati
      April 27th, 2010 | 12:48 pm

      thenewguy wrote:

      This deal could hamstring the Phillies and prevent them from signing Werth or someone else.

      I think they factored that into the equation and intend to let Werth walk. They’ll either replace him with a Johnny Damon type for one year or, if he’s ready, promote their top positional prospect (Domonic Brown).

    8. Jason
      April 27th, 2010 | 12:48 pm

      the Yankees are not only paying Arod for his performance, but are also looking at revenue that he will bring by breaking records etc. hitting his 800th homerun as a Yankee will make the 20 mil very worth it…

    9. bfriley76
      April 27th, 2010 | 12:53 pm

      SFYanks wrote:

      Psssst….Howard’s no ARod.

      thenewguy wrote:

      @ thenewguy:
      Let me also clarify and say that the biggest reason, by far, that A-Rod’s contract isn’t as bad as Howard’s is that this is the Yankees. Ignoring all other factors, the Yankees can afford this. They’ve overpaid for plenty of players before (Clemens, Giambi, soon-to-be Jeter), so A-Rod’s contract is nothing new.

      So basically, the A-Rod contract isn’t as bad as Howard’s because:
      1 – The Yankees can better afford it than the Phillies
      2 – In a world where these obscene amounts of money are regularly handed out, A-Rod is more deserving of this level of salary than Howard.

    10. YankCrank
      April 27th, 2010 | 1:07 pm

      Hopefully, for Rodriguez’ sake, he will have built up enough good will with Yankees fans come 2014 that it will offset any bad feelings about how much he’ll be getting paid when he’s old and no longer worth those dollars…
      —–

      This is kind of a silly comment. The man just came back from major hip surgery and in the same year hit .378, OPSed 1.341 with 6 HRs and 18 RBIs in the playoffs to lead the Yanks to a World Series title. Seeing as this isn’t enough “good will,” not even for you, there was really no need to say this.

      He can have the 2009 playoffs every year but there will always be some way to bring him down, even by Yankee fans.

    11. MJ Recanati
      April 27th, 2010 | 1:07 pm

      bfriley76 wrote:

      So basically, the A-Rod contract isn’t as bad as Howard’s because:
      1 – The Yankees can better afford it than the Phillies
      2 – In a world where these obscene amounts of money are regularly handed out, A-Rod is more deserving of this level of salary than Howard.

      How about we just sum it up by saying that A-Rod has always been better than Howard, is better than Howard now and profiles better than Howard in the future? Doesn’t that about cover it? The second best overall third baseman in baseball — and one of the best hitters in baseball over the course of his career — is always going to be better than a top-5 first baseman?

    12. MJ Recanati
      April 27th, 2010 | 1:09 pm

      YankCrank wrote:

      This is kind of a silly comment. The man just came back from major hip surgery and in the same year hit .378, OPSed 1.341 with 6 HRs and 18 RBIs in the playoffs to lead the Yanks to a World Series title. Seeing as this isn’t enough “good will,” not even for you, there was really no need to say this.
      He can have the 2009 playoffs every year but there will always be some way to bring him down, even by Yankee fans.

      (Nodding head in agreement)

    13. YankCrank
      April 27th, 2010 | 1:26 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      How about we just sum it up by saying that A-Rod has always been better than Howard, is better than Howard now and profiles better than Howard in the future?

      Agreed, we can just look at WAR in the years since Howard began his career as a starting point, then take it from there.

      Howard WAR ’04-’09: 22
      A-Rod WAR ’04-’09: 40.3

    14. bfriley76
      April 27th, 2010 | 1:32 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      That works for me

    15. Jason the second
      April 27th, 2010 | 1:39 pm

      Do you get fired or told off when you write crap?
      Firstly, just because The Yankees gave A-Rod a bad contract, doesn’t mean we can’t bash this contract. No one ever stopped questioning Barry Zito’s contract because Vernon Wells got a bad contract just weeks earlier!

      Secondly, Howard -although a very good player and a GREAT home run threat- sucks compared to A-Rod. A-rod for starters, plays third base, Howard plays 1st. A-Rod can hit both lefties and righties. Howard strikeout numbers are terrible. A-Rod hits for average too!

      Thirdly, As previously stated in the comments, A-Rod will be breaking records in a few years, he will be paying his own contract so to speak. The fans coming to the games etc

      Fourthy (and I’m getting bored now), American League – DH for old hitters who cant play the field. Besides the fact that although A-Rod is getting old and quickly, he is still in great shape (unlike a certain Ryan Howard) and you never know how he will age. See: Jeter, Derek; Rivera, Mariano; Pettite, Andy and Posada Jorge. A-Rods contract only MIGHT be bad. time will tell.

      Fifthly, Again this was stated in the comments above. It’s the Yankees. How hurt will they be come 2017 and A-Rod his just a hitter come off the bench, Sure, they;d be hurt to have a guy earning 21 and 22 Million not producing, but not nearly as much as The Phillies would hurt having a 25 Million fat guy doing nothing on the bench.

      PS you obviously dislike Cashman alot. How about the last first basemen he signed (for #24 Mil a year) Please dont tell me Howard is a better player!

    16. Pat F
      April 27th, 2010 | 1:40 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:
      The second best overall third baseman in baseball

      you like longo over rodriguez right now? moving forward i agree, but right now i’d probably take rodriguez just edging him (and i mean really edging because i think longo is outstanding), even with defense considered (rodriguez is playing the best third of his career so far in ’10 in my opinion). obviously you could go either way here just wondering if you were thinking longo – and why – or if it’s someone else that i’m missing.

    17. April 27th, 2010 | 2:11 pm

      I think some of you have twisted this into “I won’t trade A-Rod for Howard” or “A-Rod is better than Howard” etc.

      But, the real question here is:

      If Howard is “overpaid” at $25M a season when he’s 35 and 36 years old, then how is A-Rod not overpaid when he’s making $20M a season when he’s 40, 41 and 42?

      He’s not overpaid because the Yankees can afford it?

      That’s stupid. If Bill Gates can afford to buy a tomato and pay $40,000 for one of them, that makes it OK? Really? No, that’s stupid.

      Just as it is stupid for the Yankees to be paying A-Rod those salaries when he’s in his 40′s.

    18. YankCrank
      April 27th, 2010 | 2:12 pm

      @ Pat F:
      I agree that Alex is playing his best 3B right now (according to my eyes), but Longo is still the superior defensive 3B.

      Offensively yes, i’d take Alex over him right now. But that will change in the future.

    19. YankCrank
      April 27th, 2010 | 2:23 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      If Howard is “overpaid” at $25M a season when he’s 35 and 36 years old, then how is A-Rod not overpaid when he’s making $20M a season when he’s 40, 41 and 42?

      He’s not overpaid because the Yankees can afford it?

      Judging by the history of what players can contribute into their 40′s, Alex will indeed be overpaid at that point of his career. I don’t think anybody can disagree with that.

      I think the only point they were trying to make was, yes, he will be overpaid but it will in no way cripple the Yankees. They won’t have to sacrifice resigning Curtis Granderson in 2014, if they so choose, because Alex will be on the shelf for another $86 million over 4 years. They can afford to overpay, where as the Phillies can not.

      However, that in no way justifies the contract. I am very appreciative of the level of play Alex has brought to the Yankees, but any sensible Yankee fan was scratching their head after ’07 when Hank cut off ties, then brought him back in and handed Alex a monstrous, long-term deal when he was only bidding against himself.

    20. MJ Recanati
      April 27th, 2010 | 2:29 pm

      @ Pat F:
      I have E-Lo slightly ahead of A-Rod right now. I agree that A-Rod is playing better defense than he was two years ago (based on sight alone; no clue if defensive metrics and scouts agree with me) but I think E-Lo’s defense is even better than A-Rod’s and the bat isn’t too far behind, if not already better right now.

      E-Lo’s off to a crazy 2010: .324/.402/.521 and he’s only 24. I hate him as a Ray but I love him as a wannabe scout.

      Please note, I’m not knocking A-Rod at all by dropping him to 2nd overall at the position. 3rd overall isn’t anywhere near these two guys. David Wright’s career is stalling out right now and a certain Panda bear in San Fran is catching up fast…

    21. YankCrank
      April 27th, 2010 | 2:30 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      David Wright’s career is stalling out right now and a certain Panda bear in San Fran is catching up fast…

      Haha I just love the way this sentence sounds, Sandoval is fun to watch sometimes.

    22. Pat F
      April 27th, 2010 | 2:34 pm

      @ YankCrank:

      definitely agree that longo is still the better defensive 3B, i was just pointing out that i think rodriguez has been good enough defensively to compliment his bat in a way that still keeps him just atop the list for best overall 3B in the game. i can certainly see the case for longo right now as well (and clearly moving forward), and the numbers may even favor him now too, but i’d prefer rodriguez. better rate stats, better counting stats, and i don’t think longo’s defense, while better, is enough to make up for the difference in rodriguez’s better bat.

    23. Pat F
      April 27th, 2010 | 2:38 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:

      i can definitely see that case for longo, especially the element of his age and ability to still get better. right now i still think rodriguez’s bat puts him over the top. i guess i could best describe it by saying:

      rodriguez offense>>>longo offense
      longo defense>>rodriguez defense

      prefer rodriguez’s bat to longo’s more than i prefer longo’s glove to rodriguez’s.

      and i know you’re not knocking rodriguez because i know you’re a big fan of his!

    24. MJ Recanati
      April 27th, 2010 | 2:46 pm

      @ Pat F:
      I can definitely buy what you’re saying on A-Rod’s offense vs. Longo’s glove and I definitely agree that A-Rod’s playing some of the best 3B of his career right now.

      All in all, I don’t think you could go wrong with either player. They’re both freakin’ studs.

    25. MJ Recanati
      April 27th, 2010 | 2:48 pm

      YankCrank wrote:

      Sandoval is fun to watch sometimes.

      You got that right! He’s roly-poly but somehow nimble. He’s like the Charles Barkley of baseball: you have no idea how a man that large can be so graceful and quick despite his poor build. I love the way Sandoval handles himself at the plate.

    26. April 27th, 2010 | 2:48 pm

      You’re forgetting that in, let’s say years 2014-2017, the Yankees will have the option to deploy A-Rod as the DH.

      That option’s not available to the Phillies.

      Also, A-Rod’s “toolbox” offensively is much deeper than Howard’s.

      A-Rod walks more, strikes out less, bats for a higher average, shows no real platoon weakness.

      Howard on the other hand is Tarzan against righties and Jane versus southpaws. He strikes out enough to air condition all of South Philly. Howard’s only tool that is currently appreciably better than A-Rod’s is power and I’m not sure that’s by all that much or sustainable long term.

      Besides, given salary inflation, a $20 million DH is not an absurd thought in 2017.

      In 2002, the average DH (by the way, DHs sucked in 2002) made $3.2 million. Last season, the average DH banked $6.3 million.

      In 2002, the high end of the salary pool ranged from about $6.8 million to $10 million. Last season the high end was $13-$15 million.

      So, in seven years $20 million a season will be at the high end, but it probably won’t be out of line with the rest of baseball.

    27. nettles
      April 27th, 2010 | 2:49 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:

      Or, another way of looking at it is that the “mastermind” of A-Rod’s contract – Hank Steinbrenner – is persona non grata in the Bronx these days. The Yankees think it’s a stinker of a contract, too.

    28. Pat F
      April 27th, 2010 | 2:52 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:

      completely agree. and as you said nobody is really close, although i think you’re very right in saying sandoval is moving in that direction. kid can flat out play.

    29. YankCrank
      April 27th, 2010 | 2:55 pm

      Pat F wrote:

      @ MJ Recanati:
      completely agree. and as you said nobody is really close, although i think you’re very right in saying sandoval is moving in that direction. kid can flat out play.

      Kid can flat out eat too :)

    30. Raf
      April 27th, 2010 | 3:12 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      If Howard is “overpaid” at $25M a season when he’s 35 and 36 years old, then how is A-Rod not overpaid when he’s making $20M a season when he’s 40, 41 and 42?

      Because at the time the contract was signed, Rodriguez was an all-world talent, one of if not the best in the game, playing a premium position. Howard wasn’t or isn’t. Rodriguez profiles better than Howard.

    31. lardin
      April 27th, 2010 | 3:38 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:

      And now we are making assumptions about how Arod will be playing in 5-6 years? When you factor in the fact that Arod will be chasing many records, HR, RBI, total bases and on and on and can play DH. Now factor in the fact that when he signed the contract he was and might still be the best player in baseball not named Pujols. Yeah he might be overpaid in the last couple years of the contract, but not by a lot.

      If the Yankees can add another ring or two or three in the time that Arod has left and he contributes, I for one, will not have aproblem with him being overpayed.

    32. April 27th, 2010 | 3:38 pm

      Have to say, I have to laugh at this notion that A-Rod’s homerun chase is going to make the contract pay for itself.

      First of all, what does A-Rod get, another $30 million on top of what he’s getting paid, when he reaches those milestones?

      Secondly, the home run chase is not going to sell more tickets – the Yankees already sell out all the seats outside the moat…just about.

      Maybe the chase will give TV ratings a nudge – but they’re already high now. And, I doubt that’s going to make up for that extra 30 mill the Yankees have to pay on top of his salary.

      Hank and whomever he consulted with – and I have to assume Trost had a hand in this – really screwed the pooch with this deal. What they were thinking/smokin’ – I dunno?

    33. lardin
      April 27th, 2010 | 3:39 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:

      Its not the tv ratings or the attendence, Its the product they can sell witht the number “800″ on it.

    34. April 27th, 2010 | 3:46 pm

      FWIW, I suspect, at some level, some of the Yankees brass are hoping for A-Rod to have a career ending situation like Albert Belle or Bo Jackson in his late 30′s…esp. if they have insurance on his contract.

    35. marmeduke
      April 27th, 2010 | 3:59 pm

      I didn’t read all of the comments so if I’m parroting someone, let me apolagize now. A knee-jerk reaction to these two contracts is that both ballclubs are paying for ticket-selling potential as well as ballplaying ability. I think this applies better in Philadelphia however, as the Yankees will sell out with or without A-Roid. Both contracts are insane!! What does Howard do well besides hit homeruns?? How can that justify paying him 25 Million a year?? I almost blew chunks when I read that this morning…same reaction I had when Gay-Rod’s contract was announced. Same reaction I had when the bully-boy traded Doug Drabek for Rick Rhoden. I can’t stomach the idea of having that freak on third base for the next ten years. I only hope the Yankees can void his contract next time he gets caught shoving a needle in his zit covered ass!

    36. bfriley76
      April 27th, 2010 | 4:07 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      I think some of you have twisted this into “I won’t trade A-Rod for Howard” or “A-Rod is better than Howard” etc.
      But, the real question here is:
      If Howard is “overpaid” at $25M a season when he’s 35 and 36 years old, then how is A-Rod not overpaid when he’s making $20M a season when he’s 40, 41 and 42?
      He’s not overpaid because the Yankees can afford it?
      That’s stupid. If Bill Gates can afford to buy a tomato and pay $40,000 for one of them, that makes it OK? Really? No, that’s stupid.
      Just as it is stupid for the Yankees to be paying A-Rod those salaries when he’s in his 40’s.

      And aren’t you’re missing the point that the uproar over Howard’s contract isn’t that he’s going to be making 25 million in 6 years, it’s that in many ways, he’s probably not worth that right now?

    37. Raf
      April 27th, 2010 | 7:03 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Hank and whomever he consulted with – and I have to assume Trost had a hand in this – really screwed the pooch with this deal. What they were thinking/smokin’ – I dunno?

      I dunno either. The entire situation was weird

    38. YankCrank
      April 27th, 2010 | 7:04 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      FWIW, I suspect, at some level, some of the Yankees brass are hoping for A-Rod to have a career ending situation like Albert Belle or Bo Jackson in his late 30’s…esp. if they have insurance on his contract.

      No Steve, that’s just you.

      Alex Rodriguez is one of the greatest players to ever play the game, the idea that somebody in the Yankee organization is secretly hoping he has a career-ending injury before he reaches age 42 is ridiculous.

    39. Raf
      April 27th, 2010 | 7:06 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      FWIW, I suspect, at some level, some of the Yankees brass are hoping for A-Rod to have a career ending situation like Albert Belle or Bo Jackson in his late 30’s…esp. if they have insurance on his contract.

      That would speak to their mindset more than anything else. What really stands out is that Rodriguez’s contract was signed a season or two before the free agent market corrected itself.

      Regardless, if any team could take the hit, it’s the Yanks. If they want Rodriguez to go away, I’m sure they could make it happen.

    40. throwstrikes
      April 27th, 2010 | 7:28 pm

      Dollar averaging what the Yankees paid A-Rod for 2004-2007 because of the Texas contribution had them paying 15-17 million a year and saving almost enough to offset the last 2 years of the present contract and making his total time in NY “middle loaded” in a way.

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