Ryan Howard has gone through a legal and financial drama with his family

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If you think that dealing with injury and expectations and losing has been hard for Ryan Howard, imagine what it’s been like for him to be in a legal and financial fight with his very own family.

That fight, now settled, but likely still a major cause of angst for anyone in Howard’s position, is detailed by David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News:

Court documents filed in Howard’s home state of Missouri paint a picture of a family in turmoil. Howard’s brother Corey alleged that he had unjustly terminated a consulting agreement between the two, and Ryan in turn alleging that his father, mother and brothers were enriching themselves at his expense.

It’s not totally unlike that which we have seen with other athletes or celebrities in the past — his focus is on baseball, everyone else’s focus is on . . . other things — but it’s notable given the sheer size of Howard’s contract and how, earlier in his career, his family was such a big part of his personal story. Back when he first came up we heard so much about his parents and his twin brother and the general idea of what a great foundation Howard’s career was built on. And maybe it was. But, sadly, it spiraled in unfortunate directions.

Here’s hoping Howard is able to put this stuff behind him as he enters the next phase of his career. One that could find him on another club next season.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.