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BREAKING: Phillies, Howard agree to 3 year/$54 million deal.

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Per Jim Salisbury / Phillies Zone.

Ryan Howard gets: Security, protection against injury, and hedges in the event his production falls off the face of the planet.

Phillies get: Cost certainty, resolution of sticky labor situation, budget protection should Howard maintain current level of production, or return to 2006/2007 levels, relief from having to pay past Howard's age 32 season.

Howard is a hard player to categorize; to paraphrase blog enthusiast Bill Conlin, in 2008, he was either the worst great slugger in history, or the greatest bad slugger. 

He was likely to get this much aggregate money the next three seasons in arbitration anyway, if not more.  From that perspective, it's a victory for Amaro.