The Reuters global sports blog
Let’s look at those numbers.
His current deal expires in 2011, making the first baseman 37 years old at the completion of the contract.
Howard is not known for his defensive prowess and it is reasonable to question whether he will even be able to play first base by the time his contract is ready to expire. Being in the National League, the Phillies won’t have the option of transitioning Howard into a designated hitter.
This is not to say that the slugger isn’t a great player. Howard was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2005, NL MVP in 2006 and a World Series Champion in 2008. He is a two-time All-Star and last year was the MVP of the NL Championship Series, guiding the Phillies to the World Series against the New York Yankees. His professional stats paint the arc typical of a hall of famer. Having checked out Citizens Park for the first time two weeks ago, it is evident that he is a favorite of the fan base and replicas of his jersey can be seen all around town.