In a strange off-season marked by mediocre players netting exorbitant multiyear deals, Phillies fans have been wondering what the team will do regarding the contract of reigning NL MVP Ryan Howard. Entering the third year of a contract that netted him a relatively paltry $355,000 last season, the Phillies first basemen isn’t eligible for salary arbitration until 2007, and won’t be a free agent until 2011, according to the Inquirer’s Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki.
Questions regarding the likely renegotiation of Howard’s contract increased yesterday when he fired his agent, which could indicate he's looking for a new deal sooner rather than later, but Howard wouldn’t comment to Zolecki on why, offering a great variation on "No comment":
Howard had hired Larry Reynolds - his second agent in 2 1/2 years - before the 2005 season. Now, like Jim Turner before him, Reynolds is out. Reached last night, the affable slugger took a line from Top Gun when asked to comment.
"Negative, Ghost Rider," he said.
The question remains: What should the Phillies do with the contract of a guy who was the NL Rookie of the Year, and then hit 58 HR and 148 RBI in his sophomore season? Should they lock him up along with arbitration-eligible Chase Utley with a pair of lucrative long-term deals, or should they play it conservatively given the team’s past history with dishing out such contracts when they weren’t actually necessary to retain a key free agent?
I know what I’d like to see… I just hope Howard doesn’t sign on with Scott Boras…
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Coyotes have signed former Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn to a two-year contract.
The 26-year-old defenseman had four goals and 12 assists in 72 games with the Flyers and Los Angeles Kings last season. Schenn and Vinny Lecavalier were traded by the Flyers to the Kings last January in exchange for Jordan Weal and a third-round draft pick in last month's entry draft.
In his career, Schenn has 28 goals and 100 assists in 566 games with the Kings, Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs. In three-plus seasons with the Flyers, Schenn scored 12 goals and added 30 assists.
Schenn was the first-round draft pick - fifth selection overall - by the Maple Leafs in 2008.
Coyotes general manager John Chayka called Schenn "a good, young defenseman" who will be "a solid addition" to the Arizona blue line.
- CSNPhilly.com contributed to this story.
Updated - 5:55 p.m.
PITTSBURGH -- Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp left the game in the third inning after being struck on the left ear flap of his batting helmet by a pitch from Pirates rookie right-hander Tyler Glasnow.
Rupp walked off the field under his own power and backup catcher Carlos Ruiz pinch ran for him and stayed in the game to catch starter Aaron Nola.
The Phillies later announced Rupp was removed from the game as a precaution and that he showed no symptoms of a concussion.
Less than 24 hours before, Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco was hit in the wrist by a pitch thrown by Pirates starter Gerrit Cole in Friday's 4-0 victory at PNC Park. Franco left the game and did not start on Saturday afternoon. He's listed as day to day (see story).
In the first inning on Saturday, Rupp hit into an inning-ending ground out. He is hitting .276 with 10 home runs in 63 games.