Could The Rays Be Interested in Howard?
The trading of Jimmy Rollins last week to the Dodgers was the first step, for the Phillies in trying to rebuild their roster. It also signified the changing of the guard, the first indication that this franchise is truly prepared to move forward from their 2008 World Series championship team. Now as we look at this roster, its hard not to wonder "Who could be next?", and could that player be Ryan Howard?
According to Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe, Phillies have been desperately trying to find a trade partner for Ryan Howard. "The Phillies are trying to get teams interested in Howard, and a team source indicated they are willing to pay a great majority of his contract to move him. Howard, who hit 23 home runs and knocked in 95 runs last season, is owed $60 million between 2015 and ’17, which includes a buyout. The Phillies are trying to sell him as a DH. The Rays and Orioles could have needs in that area.", Carfardo reported.
The Orioles don't seem to have any interest in Howard, but it appears the Rays might. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, in a recent piece wrote "The Phillies, who started their remodel by dealing Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers, are expected to give in and eat most of the $60 million owed to dump Ryan Howard, who still could be of interest to the Rays."
Whether the Rays truly have interest, and the Phillies would eat the majority of Howard's contract, remains to be seen. At this stage of his career, Howard would make sense for an AL team, looking to platoon at DH, but at what cost? Would a team be willing to pay $8-$10 million to give a Howard a chance? That seems to be what the Phillies are hoping for.