Citing sources close to the situation, Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that pitcher Brett Myers will earn $25.75 million plus incentives over three years, taking him a year past free agency.
The 26-year-old right-hander went 12-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 31 starts last season, and is 54-40 with a 4.34 ERA over his career. The deal is pending a physical, Salisbury reports.
Beerleaguer: This one surprised me. I had doubts all five arbitration players would be retained, and never believed the Phillies had the money or stones to extend Myers past 2008. All the same, the Phils guarantee another season from a rising pitcher. Myers ended the 2006 season strongly, going 2-1 with a 2.68 ERA when it counted in September. After the self-imposed turmoil of mid-season, it was an impressive rebound.
Three-years, $25.75 is a generous show by the Phillies. Myers was rated as the 12th best starting pitcher in the National League, according to Hardball Times pitching win shares. That falls to 26th overall when you factor in hitting; Myers was the third-worst hitting pitcher in the NL.
Nevertheless, he's got more upside potential than most of the pitchers ahead of him. However, a number of those pitchers, young and old, now earn less. In order to meet the demand of this deal -- which is awfully similar to what veteran free agents are getting -- he cannot go backward. If anything, the Phillies have every right to demand more.
Update: Phillies confirm deal (From a Phillies news release) - Righthander Brett Myers agreed to a three-year, $25.75 million contract extension with the Phillies, Assistant General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced tonight.
"We're very pleased to have gotten this deal done with Brett, who is arguably one of the premier pitchers in the National League," said Amaro. "He's a proven top-of-the-rotation starter and he will certainly play an even bigger role for us going forward."
Myers, 26, lead the Phillies' pitching staff in wins, ERA, starts, innings (198.0), strikeouts (189), winning percentage (.632) and opponents' batting average (.257). He finished fifth in the National League in strikeouts (189), compiling an NL-leading 107 in the second half of the season.
"I've grown up in this organization and this is where I want to stay," said Myers. "I love pitching in Philadelphia, I love the ballpark, I love the fans and having Charlie as the manager and guys like Chase Utley around for the next few years was a big part of my decision."
Myers continued, "I've played with these guys - Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell - for the last few years and I couldn't imagine myself playing for another organization or with another group of guys. It would probably be a culture shock."
Over the past four seasons (2003-06) Myers ranks among the league leaders in starts (128, 6th), strikeouts (656, 7th), innings (782.1, 9th), strikeouts per 9.0 innings (7.55, 10th) and wins (50, T-10th).