The Ryan Howard arbitration hearing ended yesterday in Clearwater, Florida, and the slugger came out victorious. Howard will receive 10 million dollars this season, which is could for him but bad for the Phillies front office. That is the largest sum of money ever given to a player going into his third full season. It's no doubt that Howard deserves the money, however.
Howard was paid 900,000 dollars last year. That was a bargain for a player that won the MVP award the previous season, not to mention the Rookie of the Year in the season before that. Howard can't become a free agent until after the 2011 season, but I expect the Phils will sign him to a long term deal before then. Howard will be demanding some major bucks when that long term deal is made assuming Howard continues his pace this season. He will probably be looking for a deal similar to Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees. The Phils don't want to have to pay that amount of money.
I don't think Howard will have hard feelings because the Phillies didn't sign him to a long term deal yet. I don't think this will turn into another Scott Rolen situation. I think Howard knows that it is just business. Howard wants to be a part of this young core of Phillies and the Phillies want him to be part of this team, so the two sides should come to a long term agreement in the coming seasons.