Ryan Howard is more than just an aging slugger, he is in the last year of a contract that some would contend overpaid him and that contract has crippled the franchise from potentially going through this rebuild sooner.  The combination of Howard's pricey contract and his poor play on the field make him of little value to a team like the Phillies who are looking to get their young players into the lineup.

ESPN MLB Insider Tim Kurkjian was a guest on The Sports Bash on Friday and asked to give his perspective on what the Phillies can do with the elephant in the room that is Ryan Howard:

"The Phillies obviously need to trade Ryan Howard and I know they've tried to do this and there are no takers because even though he's coming close to the end of that contract it's still a prohibitive deal for certain teams. Especially when he's still not producing, I mean he's hitting .160 and struck out 47 times already, he's got two doubles the whole season. You're gonna need more than this Ryan Howard in order for a contender, even an American League contender that could take him as a DH, you're going to need more than that if you're going to move him somewhere. It's all about production, all about trying to score some runs and if you have an all or nothing strikeout guy like Ryan Howard you better place him with the right team. So I know they are trying to deal him, my guess is it's possible someone will take him at the end of July and hoping he will get hot for a couple months. But my guess is that's not going to happen."

Checkout Kurkjian's analysis of how the Phillies pitching staff has helped propel them to their surprising record along with his analysis of the state of Baseball today and how the game is so different than it was 10 years ago