Just over the AP wire, here you have it - the figure exchange we've been waiting for. Howard and the Phillies settled last season’s contract at the arbitration table with Howard emerging victorious in his bid for $10 million, $3 million more than the Phillies were offering. Howard finished the season second in NL MVP voting and led all of baseball in homers (48) and RBIs (146). Beerleaguer: Obviously, it looks like they're heading to the table again for a second-straight year. I think the Phils have more ammunition than a year ago. He didn't exhibit improved defense or plate discipline, areas I'm sure the Phillies focused on last hearing. His OPS fell almost .100 points. Last season, I thought Howard was worth the $10M he wanted, and so did the arbiter. This year, I think $18M is stretching it, even if the homers and RBIs are there.
Blanton a done deal: The Phillies also came to terms with righthander Joe Blanton on a one-year deal worth $5.475 million, according to the Inquirer. The Phillies have three arbitration-eligible players remaining: Howard, Chad Durbin and Jayson Werth.