The Philadelphia Phillies are desperately trying to trade 1B Ryan Howard. With Howard’s numbers in a rather steep decline, the Phillies have decided to try out other first baseman going forward, with manager Ryne Sandberg saying the team will take a “day-by-day” approach at the position. Howard has roughly $70 million remaining on his contract, which has caused the Phillies to actually consider cutting him after the 2014 MLB season, if they are unable to deal him before then. Reports are that Philadelphia is shopping Howard to every team, especially in the American League, and is willing to eat the majority of his contract. If that truly is the case, and knowing that they are in a win-now mode during Derek Jeter’s final season, could the Phillies trade Howard to the New York Yankees prior to the July 31 MLB Trade Deadline?
Think about it for a second. Yes, the Yankees are desperate for starting pitching. C.C. Sabathia is out for the season. The same fate may await Masahiro Tanaka. Michael Pineda may not pitch again this season, which would mean he would join Sabathia and Tanaka as well as Ivan Nova as four of the five starting pitchers who began the season in the Yankees’ rotation to miss the rest of the season.
But, are you honestly going to tell me that Howard could not be a good fit for the Yankees at 1B or as the designated hitter? Mark Teixeira is in and out of the lineup. Alfonso Soriano – whom the Yankees acquired last season while the Chicago Cubs paid most of his salary – has been released. Soriano just didn’t have the same pop that he did after the team acquired him last season, but it was a great move in 2013. Could Howard be the same in 2014?
Howard is not the same player he was when he signed that huge deal with the Phillies. He is owed $70 million through the 2016 season, which also includes a $10 million buyout in 2017. He is batting just .224, although he still has managed to hit 15 home runs and drive in 58 runs. Put him in Yankee Stadium with a short porch to left field, and it would be a move that the team would not regret.
Especially if the Phillies are willing to pay for him to go away.