Baseball Prospectus | Ahead in the Count: Ryan Howard and the New MORP:
"The reality is that Howard falls somewhere between these two extremes. The contract is far from spectacular, but it is unlikely to be an albatross. The deal will ultimately come down to two primary factors, neither of which can be properly estimated by either group of commentators: the rate at which Howard ages, and the rate at which the price of a win inflates. Obviously, if Howard ages gracefully and produces well into his thirties, the Phillies are probably going to be getting a great bargain. Equally obviously, if he tanks, the Phillies are in trouble. If major-league salaries inflate the way that they did during the middle of the 2000s, Howard is going to have plenty of leeway to age without being useless; if salaries hold steady like they have over the last few years, Howard is not only going to need to maintain his production, but might need to learn to pitch, too, in order to be worth his salary."
See all the smarter-than-thou posturing rests on assumptions.