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Ryan Howard Signs $125m, Five-Year Extension With Phillies

Philadelphia's star first baseman Ryan Howard, who slugged 198 home runs between 2006-2009, is going to be sticking around for a long, long time.

The Phillies have signed first baseman Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125 million contract extension, a person close to Howard has told Phillies insider Jim Salisbury.  The extension will kick in starting in 2012 and will go through 2016.

Howard is currently under contract for $19m in 2010 and $20m in 2011, under terms of his old deal. With this new extension, the Phillies have locked Howard up through his age-36 season. He joins Roy Halladay and Chase Utley as star Phillies with long-term contracts.

One can, of course, question the wisdom of handing so much money to a slugging first baseman. Howard doesn't contribute much in the field, meaning all of his value is tied up in his bat, and Howard is of the player type that, historically, has exhibited a tendency to decline pretty fast. Similar players like Richie Sexson, Mo Vaughn, and Cecil Fielder all hit the wall seemingly overnight in their low- to mid-30s.

Still, Howard is a popular figure who has done a lot of good for the team and the city, so while there's good reason to be nervous about his future, today, all fans care about is that a franchise icon is going to be sticking around. Be sure to check out The Good Phight for more on this story.