April 26, 2010

The Philadelphia Phillies signed Ryan Howard to a five-year extension with a club option for a sixth year on Monday. The team said the deal guarantees Howard $125 million over five years and could be worth as much as $138 million over six seasons.

RELATED:Tom Verducci on what the deal means for the Phillies

The Phillies had been quietly working on a deal with the 30-year-old Howard for about a month. He will get $20 million in both 2012 and 2013 and $25 million each year from 2014-16. The Phillies hold a $23 million club option for 2017 that includes a $10 million buyout.

Howard was scheduled to become a free agent after the 2011 season when he would have joined a free agent class that includes fellow All-Star first basemen Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez and Prince Fielder. Howard's deal seems to support the notion that Pujols should get at least $30 million annually, and probably more.

Howard won the 2005 National League Rookie of the Year award, the 2006 NL MVP and the 2009 NLCS MVP. Over the past four seasons, he has averaged 49.5 home runs and 143 RBIs per year while helping the Phillies win three straight NL East titles, two pennants and the 2008 World Series.

CSNPhilly.com first reported the two sides were close to deal.

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