|ESPN.com: Baseball||[Print without images]|
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Ryan Howard's $10 million arbitration payday wasn't just a big development for his money-market account. It was a big development for Ryan Braun. And Ryan Zimmerman. And for all of baseball's ascendant young stars -- even the ones who aren't named Ryan.Until Howard won his arbitration case against the Phillies on Thursday, there had never been a player with two-plus years of experience who had ever been paid 10 million bucks a season. For that matter, there had never been a player in the 35-year history of arbitration who had ever been awarded that much money after winning his case at any stage of his career. Here's where this award fits into the always-compelling annals of arbitration history: • The previous record for most dollars awarded to a player who won an arbitration hearing was $8.2 million, by Andruw Jones (as a player with four years of service) in 2001. • The previous record for highest salary in history by a player who was arbitration-eligible for the first time was $7.4 million -- set by Miguel Cabrera after he won his case against the Marlins last year. But Cabrera had three-plus years of service at the time. • Howard also tied Alfonso Soriano's record for highest salary awarded to any player who went through an arbitration hearing. Soriano got $10 million two years ago from the Nationals. But he actually lost -- in a bid for $12 million. • And until this ruling, the Phillies had been the only franchise in history that had never lost an arbitration hearing, for one thing. They were 7-0 all-time, having out-arbitrated an eclectic group consisting of Jerry Koosman, Alan Knicely, Kevin Gross, Dickie Thon, Dale Sveum, Willie Banks and Travis Lee.