I was going to write something long and critical about Ryan Howard asking for $18 million in arbitration, but then Melky Cabrera’s crazier arbitration demand came along.
Darn, it now seems that Melky and the Yankees have come to an agreement, thereby mooting all of the snark I had stored up overnight. Still, this is probably a good thing, because if they didn’t, the Yankees would have had to use that PowerPoint presentation they made up illustrating Cabrera’s true value, and whoever put the deck together would likely have been subject to prosecution under New York’s obscenity laws if it ever saw the light of day.
So back to Howard. Eighteen million dollars is an awful lot of money. More money than Albert Pujols will make in 2009 and not that much less than Mark Teixeira will make. This a year after he posted a .339 OBP and a 124 OPS+. Yes, he hits many pretty home runs and the writers went ga-ga over him in the MVP voting, but when your OPS is in the same ballpark as Andre Ethier and Brad Hawpe’s, and you don’t even crack the top 15 in Win Shares in the National League, $18 million is a little rich.
The Phillies are offering Howard $14 million. I think even that may be a tad high, but since the arbitrators have to go with one of the numbers presented to them, that’s where they should come out.