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Albert Pujols: Ruben Amaro Has Predictable Ryan Howard Reaction

If there's one GM less popular than John Mozeliak among the St. Louis Cardinals' jilted post-Albert-Pujols fanbase right now I think it would have to be the Philadelphia Phillies' Ruben Amaro, whom Bryan Burwell recently (and inexplicably) held up as a model for what the Cardinals should have done in the Pujols negotiations. Amaro—and this is what Burwell liked—agreed to pay Ryan Howard, perhaps the most overrated player in baseball, $25 million a year for five years, and he did it in such a way that the contract starts next year, when Howard will be 32. 

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With the contract in the books and out of the way, Howard hit .276/.353/.505, which means that the Phillies are paying $25 million a year despite the real possibility that Howard, more inconsistent than the average slugging first baseman, is really an immobile version of Colby Rasmus. Who was Amaro bidding against, waiting in the wings to give the second-highest annual contract in baseball to a guy who averages 3.5 WAR a season? 

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In any case, Amaro predictably dodged a question posed at him on the talk radio circuit in Philadelphia about his opinion on the two players. It's not like he could have given any other answer; "Oh, yeah, I'd dump Howard for Pujols in a second, have you seen his OBP trend?" is a non-starter. But given the way he's been party to inflating the first baseman market I think it's only fair that he plead the five year, $125 millionth amendment and remain silent whenever someone brings up the Cardinals' Pujols plight in casual conversation.

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