When you're talking about Ryan Howard, it's always big news. When you're talking about that much money, it's ginormous news.
$18 million is nearly double the the figure he was awarded last year in arbitration, which would be some raise for the slugger. Cannot deny the numbers or the impact he has just from being in the lineup, but that's a huge jump for a hitter who was batting below .200 until June practically. The Phillies offer surprisingly didn't come in too cheap, but the $14 million price tag is quite a difference.
Howard's number was the third highest ever requested since the arbitration began in 1974.
(Update: Joe Blanton avoids arbitration with a 1 year deal worth $5.475 million.)