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Phillies, Howard have come a long way

Slugger's five-year extension worth an average of $25 million per season

Updated: April 27, 2010, 12:02 PM ET
By Jayson Stark | ESPN.com

There once was a time, not so long ago, when you never could have seen this day arriving.

Five years and $125 million for Ryan Howard, on top of the two years and $39 million the Phillies had already committed to? Who'd have thunk it?

It was only two years ago -- yep, two -- that the Phillies dragged this man all the way to an arbitration hearing because they were nervous about paying a third-year player a record amount of money.

It was only last year -- yep, as in 2009 -- that ...

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