Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN: "kl (philly) klaw, in all seriousness, if the phillies did not extend howard, he would be a free agent, and someone would give him that contract.
Klaw (1:15 PM) First of all, he wouldn't be a FA for two years, so there was no urgency. Second, who's giving him that contract? The Yankees? Kind of occupied at 1b. The Dodgers? I believe Jamie is getting first base in the divorce. Boston? Youkilis, Lars, Rizzo, and a FO that's pretty in tune with things like aging patterns. Cubs? More likely to cut than add payroll. Texas? No money now, and they have Smoak. What would be the realistic market for Howard? It seems pretty limited to me."
What is overlooked is the Phillies have made the market for elite 1B much more complicated for the teams who have pending free agent 1B.
Do these teams cripple their financial flexibility to keep, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez? Or do they let them walk and hurt their own short-term competitiveness?
Either way the Phillies get added value from the Howard deal, no?