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Report: Phillies “working hard” to trade Ryan Howard

Jul 24, 2014, 7:09 PM EDT

Ryan Howard AP AP

Ryan Howard was benched today and didn’t appear too pleased about his diminished role after the game. While this makes for a potentially uncomfortable situation in the Phillies clubhouse, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the club is “working hard” to trade him.

Of course, Howard’s trade value is essentially nothing at this point, especially after a report yesterday that the Phillies have considered releasing him after the season. With that in mind, Heyman hears that the Phillies would be willing to eat most of the roughly $70 million remaining on his contract, which runs through 2016. Still, the market for him figures to be very limited. He can also block trades to 20 teams, but might welcome a deal given his current situation.

Howard, 34, is batting just .224/.305/.377 over 97 games this season. His .682 OPS is 23rd out of 24 qualified first baseman in MLB. Only Cleveland’s Nick Swisher (.635 OPS) has been worse.

  1. realgone2 - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Too bad that idiot in Seattle already went out and got Morales. Haha.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:50 PM

      Defensively, it’s bad enough, isn’t it, to say that Pete Rose was a better defensive 1B for the Phillies than Howard?

      • don444 - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:29 AM

        Howard was NEVER a good fielding first basemen by any metric, but no player earns a $125 million extension to their already lucrative contract because of their defensive prowess. Howard was methodically building a HOF resume until a blown achilles instantly transformed him into a different and lesser athlete. S**t happens.

      • paperlions - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:31 AM

        Howard was not building a HOF resume. Before the blown achilles he had 1 great season a many good seasons and he was already 31.

        He has 20 WAR, which for a slugger, is about 30% of what you need to have a serious HOF argument, he wasn’t getting the other 70% after he turned 32.

      • don444 - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:09 PM

        paperlions – WAR, schmor. I’m not some old fogey who can’t appreciate sabermetrics on any level, but that s**t isn’t everything when making such considerations. Howard averaged 39 HRs and 133 RBIs in the six seasons previous to his playoff injury. That pace would not have continued unabated, but it’s fair to say that without the injury he’d currently be sitting on 375 HRs and 1150 RBIs with time to pile up some more stats at age 34. Not a HOF lock by any means, but yeah, he was indeed BUILDING a HOF resume whether you’d care to hear that or not, so scram. Also, your assertion that he’d had only ONE “great” season as of 2011 is especially idiotic just for the record.

    • don444 - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:13 AM

      Ryan Howard and his sulky ways and diminished skills would somehow represent a substantial upgrade for the Mariners? Hmm, now who’s the idiot?

  2. hoopmatch - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    Would Howard’s contract make the worst contract hall of fame?

    • realgone2 - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:21 PM

      Worse than Wells’s?

      • Kevin S. - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:27 PM

        They were both paid the same amount of money, but Howard got it over two fewer years. And Wells was actually traded, without significant money being dumped and for actually valuable players in return.

      • realgone2 - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:31 PM

        Yeah Howard might be one of the all time worst.

    • chip56 - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:15 PM

      Right now the pantheon for active awful contracts:
      Carl Crawford
      Josh Hamilton

      (Alex Rodriguez is not active at the moment)

      • dondada10 - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:17 PM

        Hamilton and Pujols both have bad contracts but at least they are above replacement level players.

      • chip56 - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:19 PM

        Well not everyone in the pantheon has to be equal. Think of Howard and CC as the Ruth and Cobb of the pantheon while Pujols and Hamilton are the Bert Blyleven/Phil Rizzuto level.

      • kindasporty - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:23 PM

        I’d put Verlander up there. Maybe even number 1. Cabrera will probably be there too in a couple years. He’s still got time to prove everyone wrong though.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:23 PM

        hamilton’s was only for 5 seasons though so that mitigates it somewhat

        also, the signed howard like 2 yrs BEFORE they needed to, had they waited they could have seen that he was already gaining speed in his downhill slide

        so howards was bad for several reasons, signing him way too early and for too long

        why do an extension with 2 yrs left on his contract?

      • skerney - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:28 PM

        I’d add Adrian Gonzales and Ethier to that list soon.

      • chip56 - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:32 PM

        well if you want to talk about future candidates – Robinson Cano is already complaining about Safeco.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:43 PM

        I wouldn’t put Pujols or Hamilton in top 5. Maybe, or maybe not, the top 10. But, top 5?

        Actually, forward to 2015, let’s put Miggy’s new contract in the top 5, because that’s going to be a fricking albatross for the Tigers.

      • johnnysoda - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:47 PM

        Not for nothing, but Sabathia still gave the Yankees some quality seasons before he gave out. And, he was a key part of their 2009 season.

      • chip56 - Jul 24, 2014 at 11:19 PM

        2009 was a different contract. He opted out after the 2011 season signed a new deal and has been hurt/ineffective since.

    • don444 - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:17 AM

      Howard’s contract might be worst ever? lol An unfortunate business decision that obviously didn’t work out for the Phils, but it’s amazing how hyperbolic and dumb many of the observations are on these message boards.

  3. tomemos - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    Ha, I can’t help but remember the first comment in this thread.

    (Yes, I remember amazing halladaysbiceps comments from three years ago. Sue me.)

    • xmatt0926x - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:23 PM

      I’m not sure even halladaysbiceps would be defending Ryan Howard’s ability today. Howard is a real nice guy, easy to root for. It’s a shame what he has become, but reality is reality. He’s just awful. He has no justification to be upset at Sandberg. This isn’t about waiting on his injuries to heal anymore. He’s in his mid 30’s and was never a great athlete to begin with. it’s just not going to get any better.

    • realgone2 - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:38 PM

      Damn. That’s cold

    • skerney - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:55 PM

      The first THREE comments are just pure gold. I can’t tell which is better, ‘cepts telling bennoj that his feelings are “incorrect” or the part about Howard’s improved defense.

      Sometimes I miss that drunken, racist, sexist, homophobic true believer.

  4. schmedley69 - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    Ruben Amaro working hard to trade Ryan Howard, other GMs working hard not to laugh when they answer Amaro’s calls.

    • realgone2 - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:22 PM

      you know there has to be one that plays along for a minute. Gets amaro all excited and then says Psych! and hangs up

      • xmatt0926x - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:26 PM

        Do you think whatever GM Ruben is talking too get’s all the other GM’s on the line just so they can secretly mock and giggle as Ruben is pitching the trade?

  5. twinfan24 - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    As bad as Howard is right now, how much would the Phillies have to eat to trade him? I can’t see any other team being willing to pay more than maybe $5 million of that remaining $70. And, that may be pushing it, unless some team thinks they can turn him around. Unless the Phillies are willing to take someone else’s bad contract back, who would take him?

  6. [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    He can also block trades to 20 teams, but might welcome a deal given his current situation.

    How does 10/5 rights work. Do you need 10 full years of service time or just 10 years in the bigs?

    • jwbiii - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      Ten years of service time. He’s at about 9.5 now.

    • bestintheworld92 - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      10 Years in the Majors & 5 years with a team then a player can veto any trade

  7. stan97 - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Good luck with that. I doubt they could get a warm 6-pack for him.

  8. andreweac - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    Ryan Howard might be done. He may have played his last game in the Show.

  9. skerney - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    You know that Amaro was trying to convince Sabes to take Howard on that plane today.

  10. 18thstreet - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    Given all the baggage, I’d say A-Rod’s current contract is the worst ever.

    • skerney - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:27 PM

      Don’t know, the Yanks won a championship during that contact. Phillies, not so much.

      • vlock1 - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        God, that’s right. Howard was still on his last contract when the Phils won.

        Yeah, considering it was entirely unnecessary, I’m going with this one as the worst ever.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:46 PM

      5 bucks says that Miggy’s upcoming contract, which we’re not even to yet, turns out worse.

      • cshearing - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:38 AM

        You can somehow say that, and then say Pujol’s contract is not so bad? Talk about inconsistency.

    • 18thstreet - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      Let me add that this was the worst contract at the moment it was signed. We all knew A-Rod would eventually be overpaid, but he was still a productive player and likely to sell tickets. The Phillies extended Howard two years before free agency and really didn’t get any sort of a discount for doing so.

      I wonder: if they had waited one year, when Howard’s decline was even MORE obvious, what would they have offered? What on earth was the rush?

      The other thing to consider: the Phillies, as I understand it, faced a choice of whether they wanted Howard or Werth, knowing they couldn’t afford both. And while Werth is ALSO overpaid, here’s how they’ve matched up in each season starting with when Werth joined the Nationals:,2154

      And here’s their total outputs:,2154

      Horrible decision making from the Phillies organization on this one.

  11. phillyphanatic77 - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    It’d be nice if Amaro was actually working hard to deal the pieces that actually have a little value. He’s been twiddling his thumbs while two closers have already been dealt. What are you waiting for?! I feel like nothing will ever change with this club. For 3 years the fans have been saying this roster can no longer compete and for 3 years Amaro has tried to sell us the same bs. It was beyond insane to think that guys like Howard, Utley, Rollins, and Ruiz could get back to their glory days and somehow everyone in baseball except our clueless leader could see that. I mean a shell of Sizemore and an aging Byrd seem like the best acquisitions he’s made in years… that’s pathetic. This team is unwatchable and I will not spend one dime on this team until there are legitimate changes… and that should start at the top. Amaro is a mix of Andy Reid’s stubbornness and Paul Holmgrens money dumping, no future consequences attitude.

    • skerney - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:48 PM

      This is 100% of the comments on Gelb’s games stories on In bed each night, beer in hand, laptop on a pillow, I read 100s of these comments and laugh so loud my girlfriend gets angry. I laugh because it’s true. With another GM the Phil’s could have been the Big Red Machine, or at worst whatever the first place Giants are right now, having won multiple World Series and still competing for a pennant.

  12. 1950oscarstreet - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    Howard and Cliff Lee to Dodgers for Crawford, Ethier, Haren, and a second level Dodgers prospect

    • jwbiii - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:34 PM

      Why on earth would the Dodgers want Howard?

      • skerney - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:49 PM

        Why on Earth would Philly want Hare? A home run machine chasing a vesting option is truly chilling.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 24, 2014 at 11:46 PM

      For that matter, why on earth do the Dodgers want Lee when, given the way their new owners spend like a group of Cashmans drunk on Jaegerbombs, they’re going to chase Scherzer and/or Lester in the offseason?

  13. skerney - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    I just want to admit I am a terrible person and really enjoy this. Like a lot. The Phillies fan’s chest thumping that occupied this blog going all the way back to Circling The Bases was not fun. Halladaysbicepts and all the others that swam in the wake of the Phillies success made this place intolerable. I stayed away. Remember when Amaro was a Jedi? Mike Martinez was a future all star? Amaro should trade for Pablo Sandoval to BACK UP Polanco? Everyone in the Phillies Linuep was a potential hall of famer? Not even the joy i took in Cody Ross demolishing that empire compares to the juvenile satisfaction I take from the current state of the Phillies. I’m small and I know it. I don’t really care. The smug, uninformed, unsustainable moves Amaro made to dismantle a winning franchise came back to bite him and the team and the fans. Amaro fleeced his own team.
    My personal favorite move of Amaro’s is a toss up between: Trading for Cliff Lee, trading Cliff Lee then overpaying for him on the open market. OR, Amaro freaking out that the team he built is too left handed and can’t beat Affedlt, Lopez and the Giants so then he overpays for Hunter Pence, then trades him to the Giants for nothing who then pummel the Phillies regularly with Hunter Pence.
    It boggles the mind that this man has a job.

    • rollinghighwayblues - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:34 PM

      “The Phillies fan’s chest thumping that occupied this blog going all the way back to Circling The Bases was not fun.”
      God, you are not kidding. It was unbearable to say the least.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:55 PM

      The Pence part is too funny. Wonder if the Phillies wouldn’t mind having SIngleton at the moment?

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      The Phillies fan’s chest thumping that occupied this blog going all the way back to Circling The Bases was not fun.

      In the beginning it wasn’t too bad. Fiorentino, J5, and drmonkeyarmy were great to have around, but it also meant ‘cepts was here. It wasn’t until the ’09 series that we got swarmed with Phans which made it almost intolerable here.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 24, 2014 at 11:04 PM

        I’m still here. At this rate I suspect I’ll be the ONLY Phan left at the end of the season.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      Unfortunately the country became overrun with idiotic bandwagon Phans, much like the Red Sox cult following… though it didn’t last as long it was still arguably as annoying. If you thought it was bad here you should’ve tried living in Philly. People who had never watched baseball were suddenly covering themselves head to toe in Phillies regalia. Drunk girls, who had once hated sports, were suddenly draped in “Utley apparel”, screaming about the Phillies Even as a Phils fan I can understand the cruel justice of it all.

      Amaro has turned this club from a potential dynasty into a laughingstock in a few short years. At this point I almost wish Ed Wade was still in charge… atleast he was responsible for laying the world series’ bricks. Amaro was responsible for tearing them down.

  14. chaseutley - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    Yours is the team that can turn him around!

  15. jkcalhoun - Jul 25, 2014 at 1:10 AM

    Package him with that second baseman and you might get something in return.

  16. 461deep - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:41 AM

    Howard killed the Phillies in the 2009 WS. He could not get a clutch hit and was awful VS lefties.
    So the signs of trouble were there then yet he was foolishly extended. Some say it is not your money so why do you care. We care because every inflated sports, TV, celebrity or CEO contract inflates the prices we pay for necessary or recreational products with normal incomes. Yes stars are worth more but not 20-25 M a year.

  17. joeyb3878 - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:27 AM

    Howard’s contract is the worst ever. Especially considering that his 25 mill a year deal kicked in as he tore his achilles while making the last out in the previous postseason.

  18. mungman69 - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:30 AM

    Man, Howard was great in his day. FIFTY-EIGHT homers, only Ruth and Maris hit more.

  19. sleepyirv - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:57 AM

    Unless the Phillies can invent time travel to stop Howard’s contract offer, it really doesn’t matter how hard they work on moving Howard.

  20. joeyb3878 - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:58 AM

    The Phillies have a lot of players of value to trade this season, not including Howard. As much as I would like them to take advantage of being sellers, I don’t want Ruben Amaro making the deals. He needs to be the first to go. Rube has done a decent job acquiring players in trades using the team he inherited from Pat Gillick but his only experience as a seller was the disaster of trading Cliff Lee in his prime for a few bums, whom only one of which is still part of the organization lingering back and forth from the minors……… The Howard contract has crippled the team. They traded a top prospect at 1B in Jon Singleton because they had Howard locked up, while another top prospect in Darrin Ruf has lost two years of big league experience in the minors for same reason. Getting rid of Howard is addition by subtraction at this point. Unfortunately they can’t subtract the 60 mill he is owed………. All that said he did win ROY and one of the best seasons in franchise history the year he won MVP and helped get Philly a long awaited Championship….. Nonetheless it’s way past time to cut him loose

  21. kastout11 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    No GM in their right mind would take on that contract. He is not even good enough to be a platoon player. Wow, how the mighty have fallen.

  22. cookiedabookie - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    Ryan Howard for Alex Rodriguez trade. Both are owed about the same amount after this year ($61 million for Alex, $60 million for Howard). Would be an interesting challenge trade that probably still ends in both players getting released.

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