If Ryan Howard Gets $25 Million, Then Albert Pujols…

The Phillies recent extension of Ryan Howard seems to be hated by everyone except Howard, his agent, and Jon Heyman. Keith Law commented, “If Howard is worth $25 million, Pujols is worth $50 million a year.”

So, how much is Albert Pujols worth if commands a salary in line with what Ryan Howard received? Yesterday, I estimated that Howard was worth about $19.5 million per year over the term of his contract, so $25 million is approximately 28% more than his projected worth. If Pujols signed a deal for the same timespan, I estimate that he would be worth $40 million per year. Thus, if Pujols received a premium similar to Howard’s, he would be worth $51 million per year, almost exactly what Law estimated.

This also speaks to how good a player Pujols is, and how much more valuable he is than Howard. Because the financial returns to winning are increasing, the marginal runs that players produce should command higher salaries on the free-agent market. I’m not sure Pujols will get the Howard premium, but whatever contract he receives will blow away Howard’s deal.


  1. [...] J.C. Bradbury does the math and finds that Albert Pujols, if valued at the same rate as Ryan Howard, is worth $51 million a year. [...]

  2. [...] Bradbury has a take on the impact of Howard on Pujols.  I haven’t put any numbers to JC’s evaluation of [...]

  3. [...] Bobby Cox has done some back of the envelope math and come up with $50mn, and according to at least one estimate by J.C. Bradbury, he isn’t that far off base. I am sure the Cardinals aren’t exactly thrilled with Cox’ [...]

  4. [...] Looking back on the week that was for Ryan Howard (4-for-11, one RBI), we have to imagine that every front-office number-cruncher in baseball is paying extra special attention to the slugger’s output as they attempt to figure out whether he’s possibly worth the cash. And so, here’s one go at it: Using Ryan Howard’s new five-year 5-million deal as a basis for comparison, Sabernomics calculates that Albert Pujols is worth million a year. [...]