Today brought an onslaught of one-year deals throughout Major League Baseball as 42 players agreed to terms with their teams.
Among them were Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche for $7.05 million, Dodgers catcher Russell Martin for $3.9 million and reliever Jonathan Broxton for $1.825 million, Yankees outfielders Xavier Nady for $6.55 million and Melky Cabrera for $1.4 million, Mariners pitcher Erik Bedard for $7.75 million and Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon who set a record for a closer’s arbitration (set just days earlier by Bobby Jenks) at $6.25 million.
In the midst of all these signings was the bomb Ryan Howard dropped on the Phillies with his request of $18 million in salary arbitration. This was the third highest figure ever submitted since the process began in 1974 with Derek Jeter ($18.5 million in 2001) and Roger Clemens ($22 million in 2005) being the only two higher.
The Phillies have offered $14 million making the two sides still a ways off. Howard is coming off a season in which he hit 48 homers and drove in 146 RBI while helping the Phillies win their first World Series title since 1980. He makes a very strong case for himself with the gaudy numbers he puts up and already has an arbitration win last season when he was awarded $10 million from the Phillies.
Right now it’s up in the air which side will come out on top of this one and neither Howard nor the Phillies look to be in any sort of hurry to lock in a long term deal.