Howard, Phils agree to $54M deal

February 8, 2009 9:52:14 AM PST
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard agreed to a three-year, $54 million contract Sunday, avoiding salary arbitration for the next three seasons. "I'm happy to have this done and to know that I'll be in Philadelphia for at least another three years," said Howard. "Both sides are happy and now I'm just focused on getting the season started and having fun."

Last season Howard, 29, batted .251 and led all major league players with 48 home runs and 146 RBI. With runners in scoring position, Howard hit .320, including .500 (10-20) from August 31 through the remainder of the season.

Howard was named NL Player of the Month in September when he hit .352 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI, setting a Phillies record for most RBI in the month.

"We're very pleased to have avoided the arbitration process, not just for this year, but also for the next two," said Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. "Ryan is clearly one of the top power hitters and run producers in the major leagues and is a very important part of our championship club."

Since becoming the Phillies' everyday first baseman on July 1, 2005, Howard leads all major league players in home runs (174) and RBI (493).

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