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.