Howard and Phillies agree to $125 million deal

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Slugger Ryan Howard and the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a five-year contract extension worth at least $125 million for the two-times All-Star, a report on MLB.com said Monday.

The deal includes a club option for a sixth year and will pay the first baseman $20 million for the 2012 and 2013 seasons and $25 million for each season from 2014-16.

Howard's sixth-year option is worth $23 million and includes a $10 million buyout. If the option is exercised the total value of the contract could reach $138 million.

The deal also includes awards bonuses and a limited no-trade clause, the report said.

The richest deal ever handed out by the Phillies makes the 30-year-old Howard the second highest-paid player in the Major Leagues behind New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez, who averages just over $27 million per season.

Howard has been one of baseball's most feared hitters since 2005, leading the Major Leagues in home runs (222) and RBI (650).

He confirmed his status as a big league slugger in 2006 when he set a single-season club record with 58 home runs on his way to winning the NL most valuable player award.

This season Howard is hitting .275 with three homers and 16 RBI.

(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto; editing by Steve Ginsburg)