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Rockies sign former Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard to minor league contract

Howard hasn’t played in the majors in 2017

The Rockies signed former Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard to a minor league contract, the team announced.

Howard, 37, was the National League Rookie of the Year in 2005, and he won the MVP in 2006, when he hit 58 home runs and posted an OPS over 1.000. He played a big role in the Phillies’ 2008 World Series win as well. Prior to the 2010 season, the Phillies signed Howard to a five-year, $125 million dollar contract extension that kicked in before the 2012 season and ended after the 2016 season.

It was precisely during that 2012 season that things took a turn for the terrible for Howard. The slugger hit .226/.292/.427 in those years, resulting in a 95 OPS+. Things were really bad in 2016, when Howard posted an abysmal .196/.257/.453 batting line.

Howard signed a minor league deal with the Braves in April, and they released him in May. He played in 11 games for the team’s Triple-A affiliate and hit .184/.238/.263.

Because the Rockies signed Howard before the end of August, he will be eligible for the postseason roster; however, it would almost take a miracle for Howard to position himself for one of those spots on a roster that is already crowded with position players. As it currently stands, he’s not even on the 40-man roster, so the Rockies would have to clear a space on that if they wanted to even give him a September call up.