Former Phillies First Baseman Ryan Howard Signs With Braves
When 2017 Spring Training ended, former Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard had yet to find a new home. The 2017 baseball season is now on its fourth day. Finally, it appears that Howard has found somewhere to play baseball.
MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports that Howard is joining the Atlanta Braves on a minor league deal. Bowman says that Howard will report to extended Spring Training for a while. Once that is done, Howard will report to Triple-A Gwinnett.
The fit for Howard is rather curious. The Atlanta Braves in recent years have been trading off their veteran players. However, first baseman Freddie Freeman appears to be the lone exception, the one veteran player who will bridge the gap between the era of old and the new era of Braves baseball in newly-opened Sun Trust Ballpark.
The National League Braves also do not have a designated hitter position for Howard to play. It appears Howard would have to make the Braves as a pinch hitter or an injury replacement.
As Corey Seidman of CSN Philly noted last week, Howard was the only player who hit 20 home runs last season to be unsigned.
Bowman also added that Howard recently purchased an Atlanta-area home. Howard would be able to live there while playing for Gwinnett, which is in an Atlanta suburb.