Why I Would Trade Ryan Howard – Phillies Nation

Why I Would Trade Ryan Howard

Last night, two friends of mine – a Braves fan and a Red Sox fan – argued with me about trading Ryan Howard. They couldn’t believe I’d even fathom such an idea. I’ve suggested in the past the possibility of trading Howard, but today I wanted to bring my case up front.

Why I Would Trade Ryan Howard

It sounds almost ridiculous that a team in the top half of the payroll list contending for a World Series would want to trade its biggest power hitter, a man capable of hitting 60 home runs. But there are reasons to think heavily about dumping Howard.


Howard is an average at best first baseman in the field. He seems more adept to becoming a designated hitter, and as one he would be the most feared hitter in baseball, bar none. Any American League team (maybe this side of Boston) would want to take Howard as its DH for the next six years.

Moreover, the Phils will encounter some obstacles with their current position players. If they want to hold onto Pat Burrell, they could slot him at first base with a new contract. If they drop Burrell, Chase Utley could slide over to first where he’d seemingly be more comfortable. Both moves allow top hitting prospect Adrian Cardenas to find an everyday spot, either at left field or second base. In essence, losing Howard doesn’t just mean gaining young players, but also giving Cardenas a chance to play everyday.


In the past few months we’ve seen somewhat of a shift in Howard’s attitude toward Philadelphia. Maybe it’s not the truth, but I’ve noticed him to be much more indifferent and even arrogant toward his home city. Part of it might be the arbitration issue; part of it might be he just wants to play somewhere else. Then again, this may not even be an issue.

Still, one wonders why the usually happy-go-lucky slugger hasn’t really been happy-go-lucky this season.


Ryan Howard wants to make big bucks, especially if he’s not getting a long-term deal. This season he’s making $10M, the largest arbitration victory ever. Experts say a $20M arbitration prize before 2010 isn’t out of the question. That means a long-term deal would mean potentially $25MM per year.

A Howard deal is earning comparisons with deals for Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, and even Alex Rodriguez. Their deals:

  • Pujols (2004): $7M, $11M, $14M, $15M, $16M, $16M, $16M + $5M = 7Y/$100M
  • Cabrera (2008): $11.3M, $15M, $20M, $21M, $21M, $22M, $22M = 8Y/$152.3M
  • Rodriguez (2008): $27M, $32M, $32M, $31M, $29M, $28M, $25M, $21M, $20M, $20M = 10Y/$275M

Here is what the players had accomplished before their deals:

  • Pujols (3Y): 475 G, 114 HR, 381 RBI, 220 BB, 227 K, .333 AVG
  • Cabrera (4.5Y): 720 G, 138 HR, 523 RBI, 322 BB, 592 K, .312 AVG
  • Rodriguez (12.5Y): 1904 G, 518 HR, 1503 RBI, 915 BB, 1524 K, .306 AVG

And Howard thus far:

  • Howard (3Y): 423 G, 132 HR, 359 RBI, 261 BB, 510 K, .288 AVG

Despite the huge home run totals, it’s easy to see Howard is not on the Pujols, Cabrera or Rodriguez level. He doesn’t deserve the $25M or so he could gain a couple years. A deal for him should really top out at $15M-$17M at its peak year, like:

  • $10M, $12M, $12M, $16M, $16M, $16M + $8M = 6Y/$82M

It seems Howard wants much more than that — he’s not worth more than that.


And while Howard might not be worth the $20M-$25M he’ll likely seek per year in a long-term deal, some teams would want to throw that money at him. To put it bluntly: Howard is a face of Major League Baseball. He’s one of the most recognizable players in the world. With new endorsement deals and an easygoing personality, his value surpasses anything he does on the field.

Teams with money to burn will want to throw extra bucks to get the big man, especially if he’s a missing piece or that franchise face a team desperately needs. The Phillies? They have Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Brett Myers, Pat Burrell and Cole Hamels, who is much more a priority for a long-term deal than Howard.

If the Phils trade away Howard, they’re not rebuilding because they have other pieces in place that can lead them to the World Series. So why not trade your biggest chip for other chips that could complete the puzzle?

What The Return Should Be

If I’m trading Ryan Howard, I want huge potential in return. Let’s look at recent deals involving big-name players:

  • Twins acquire OF Carlos Gomez, RHP Philip Humber, RHP Kevin Mulvey and RHP Deolis Guerra from the New York Mets for LHP Johan Santana.
  • Orioles acquire OF Adam Jones, LHP George Sherrill, RHP Chris Tillman, RHP Kam Mickolio and LHP Tony Butler from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for LHP Erik Bedard.
  • Athletics acquire LHP Brett Anderson, LHP Dana Eveland, LHP Greg Smith, INF Chris Carter and OF Aaron Cunningham and OF Carlos Gonzalez for Dan Haren and Connor Robertson.
  • Marlins acquire RHP Burke Badenhop, RHP Eulogio De La Cruz, RHP Dallas Trahern, LHP Andrew Miller, C Mike Rabelo and OF Cameron Maybin for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis.

In each deal, each team acquired a Baseball America top-40 prospect, either from 2008 or 2007. Major League-ready talent was also handed over. It seems as if the Orioles and A’s got good returns, while the Twins waited too long and couldn’t grab a top-10 prospect for Santana. The key, obviously, is timing. Bedard and Haren had career years and were young enough to be moved for a lot of return. Cabrera too.

If the Phillies trade Ryan Howard within the calendar year, and if I’m running the ship, I’d want:

  • A national top pitching prospect ready to start immediately.
  • A national top-100 hitting prospect (A+ or higher), preferably at third base.
  • A Major-League ready pitcher younger than 28.
  • A team top-15 prospect.
  • A team top-30 prospect.

Which Teams Fit The Profile

When seeking trading partners for Howard, you have to start in the American League, and with teams that can afford a potential long-term deal equaling $150M. There are some NL possibilities. These teams are:

New York Yankees

The obvious perfect partner. Their current 1B/DH, Jason Giambi, is in the last year of his monster deal, and he’s been horrific at the plate. They could pair Howard in the middle of the lineup with the game’s best righty, Alex Rodriguez. Howard would become a face of New York and gain even more endorsement deals.

Who we could get in return: RHP Ian Kennedy, OF Austin Jackson, RHP Chris Britton, RHP David Robertson, 3B Marcos Vechionacci

Baltimore Orioles

They may not want to trade because they are rebuilding, but the team could use a franchise player like Howard to lift the team back in the AL East. They have enough to hand over without giving up on their top draws (Nick Markakis, Adam Jones).

Who we could get in return: LHP Troy Patton, OF Nolan Reimold, RHP Dennis Sarfate, RHP Jim Hoey, 3B Mike Costanzo

Texas Rangers

I’d bet the Rangers would want to make a hard play at Howard, as they’ve lacked any real spotlight persona since A-Rod left. And they have the money to pay Howard.

Who we could get in return: RHP Eric Hurley, 3B Chris Davis, RHP Josh Rupe, RHP Tommy Hunter, OF Christian Santana

San Francisco Giants

The one National League team I can see making a real push for Howard. They have a hole at first base and would definitely love to make him the new face of the franchise after Barry Bonds’ tenure ended there. He’d be instantly loved by the bay.

Who we could get in return: RHP Tim Alderson, 3B Angel Villalona, LHP Erick Threets, LHP Clayon Tanner, OF Ben Copeland

Other potential suitors: Boston Red Sox (can’t see it happening with Ortiz there), Tampa Bay Rays (only if they decide to raise their payroll significantly), Toronto Blue Jays (keep an eye on them), Chicago White Sox (would they take on another Philly 1B?), Cleveland Indians (big dark horse), Seattle Mariners (see Toronto), New York Mets (can’t see the Phils really wanting to trade him there), Los Angeles Dodgers (James Loney has a grip on first for years), Chicago Cubs (they’ve ponied up for more before).

Of the possibilities, the Yankees have the best match, and can be flexible with other top prospects (it would be hard prying Kennedy from them).

Bottom Line

I’m not saying the Phils should deal Howard today, or even ever. But they should look into it at some point. I’d say the next 12 months is a good period to look for partners and – if the price is right – pull the trigger on a deal.

Let’s be honest – Howard isn’t getting his big bucks with the Phillies; either he is unhappy until his arbitration years end or there’s a growing rift between the organization and the slugger; he could be dealt at the end of the process for a lot less value in return.

If the Phillies decide they want to stay a frugal big-market team, a team that doesn’t want to spend big money to compete with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets, they should know they can at least get a lot in return for Ryan Howard within the next year. But they have to make that decision.

Click to comment


  1. Mike T

    April 14, 2008 at 12:36 pm


  2. Geoff

    April 14, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    I completely agree. Everyone in MLB knows the phillies will pay Hamels over him. Id also keep burrell at a decent rate. Moving him to first is a great idea because he wont be worse than howard as a 1b. Howard is the perfect DH so you ship him to the AL at the deadline or at the winter meetings. Someone will be desperate enough to cough up the talent youre asking for. Im on board with the asking price as well. Ill take it a step farther thuogh, if i dont get a position player or hitting prospect that is immediately mlb-ready and projects to hit 20-30 hr and 80+ rbi/year and hit for average AS WELL AS an mlb-ready or current starting pitcher ready to plus right into the rotation i would just hang up the phone as ask them to call back when they get serious. There are plenty of hot prospects blocked by the players on their mlb teams. If you can get those two top players then the other 3-4 guys you get will be reasy to fill in as solid prospects with good upside. Yes you can get all that for one guy because someone will be desperate enough to do it providing yu move sooner rather than later. Call me crazy but I like burrell as a hitter when he disciplines himself more than howard because burrell has a better swing.

  3. Jim Mc

    April 14, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Isn’t it sad that we finally have a winner to fill our beautiful new ballpark, and we’re already talking about how the ownership group is too cheap to pay its best players?

    It’s not like they can’t. They just won’t.

    Maybe Rolen was right. Maybe the Phillies owners don’t really want to win, they just want their profit margin.

    Personally, I love this team. I hated to see Rowand go, though. The man literally ran through a wall to win but we wouldn’t pay him.

    I’m not saying we have to be free-spenders like the Yanks or BoSox (Fla has 2 World Series, and their whole roster doesn’t make as much as our infield), but it would be a crime if this nucleus gets busted up before a championship simply because they won’t pay.

    They were smart to lock Utley up early – it will save them money in the long run.

    Can you imagine if Hamels turn out to be the next coming of Lefty and they don’t lock him up?

  4. chris m

    April 14, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    GREAT ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!!! I agree totally… i see an argument that were as good with out him. he strikesout too much… now a dead pull hitter…. terrible fielder…risp % is terrible this year so far… he strikeout in key situations… get soime pithcing and save the money to spend in better place…great job writing this…we need to get rid of him before other teams start seeing all of this

  5. Geoff

    April 14, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    He is the second coming of lefty. My dad and everyone ive talked to who actually watched lefty pitch all say he reminds them of him if you exclude the pitch arsenal because i think lefty had a lot more pitches than cole does. YOu have to lock him up, and i think they know that. Thats why you move howard. Its howard or hamels with the self imposed cap they have. They give the GM a ceratin number and say maybe he has like 2-3 million in flex room above that number if need be but 4 million? obviously not because thats what they would have had to pay for kyle lohse. So i think they ask him to assemble a winner based on those numbers. Which is yeah we wanna win but not if it means spending 30 million more than they are. Hamels must stay, no matter what.

  6. jay

    April 14, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Very good article. My patience is wearing thin with every strikeout from the big man. I agree that we could get a lot for him and should probably work towards it. Good Job Tim.

  7. benjamin Franklin

    April 14, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    You guys have completely lost your marbles. At least get cain back in a deal. Jesus

  8. ryan

    April 14, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    you guys are off your rockers. You want to keep Burrell and put him at first base? put down the crackpipe. seriously

  9. BillyPenn

    April 14, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Can’t say I disagree with the logic. But I think you can wait one more year before his market value would decline. Could be a deadline move next season. But Cole definitely has to be locked up long term, for a very long time

  10. T

    April 14, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Every single time a scout watches Ryan Howard this year his market value is declining. I would prefer a .300 + hitter with decent fielding and 25-30 HRs to Howards horrible fielding, probably .270 average, and 45 HRs this year. And that’s just one player we could get in a deal for him.

  11. Mike

    April 14, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    I could not agree more, The play yesterday Howard should have made. He is a very poor defensive player and strikes out more than 2 guys who make his money combined. The only thing i disagree with is trading him for strictly prospects, because i think we could get another well known pitcher ala Halladay for him. Another thought for the Phils since they are so keen on taking Pat out of the game in the 7th inning for the ‘superior’ defensive skills of Taguchi, is get a doug Mienkiewicz (sp?) like player to put in for Howard in the later innings. All just thoughts, he is a valuable guy to have on your team, but with 2 outs in the 9th is he really the guy you want at the plate? I don’t think so.

  12. Mike W.

    April 14, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    JEsus, it’s only April. Remember how everyone was drooling over Ryho this spring (less Ks, better avg., seeing the ball great, better physical shape). He’s been a terrible April player so far every year, let’s just wait and see how good he is in August/Sept. I certainly would not trade him this year, or probably even next. You can’t break up such an amazing core. Maybe some of you guys realize some logic in it, but in reality, most Philadelphians would go absolutely nuts on management should they actually trade the big guy.

  13. Geoff

    April 14, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    He would be better defensively than Howard. In terms of mobility, who is less stiff? thats the question. besides, you keep burell within a reasonable price because you wont get much for him in comparison with what youll get for ryan howard. id rather keep burrells numbers Plus you want to make room to bring up cardenas and golson when the time is right. You DEFINITELY spend the money on Hamels first and foremost. If you think they should keep howard over hamels (everyone knows they wont keep both, just one) then youre also crazy. with what you get in return for trading howard if you make a good deal, you can get the pieces you need to win the world series before chase and jimmy get too old. i cannot say that for burrell. and if you trade cole hamels for anyone at all than theyre insane. You pay hamels the 8 years/150-60 million and lock him up for good.

  14. Tim Malcolm

    April 14, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    The underlying issue — and one that I bring up at the end — is the Phillies’ own frugality. If they wanted to, they could pay Howard AND Hamels and keep the nucleus together WHILE building parts around them. But history has shown they won’t. So if history holds and the Phillies are set on breaking the nucleus, it’s better to do it sooner to get better value, and it’s better to trade Howard over anyone else.

  15. ped

    April 14, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    I think we should wait on the talks about keeping Pat. I’ve always been a fan, but if he continues on the path he’s on this year, I think he’s gonna be very hard to keep around.

  16. Geoff

    April 14, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Amen. The other parts of the nucleus are more affordable and totally untouchable. Sure they could keep them, one of the owner’s kids went to my high school. They are BILLIONAIRES, they could easily spend as much or more than the red sox and yankees but they refuse.

  17. Rosco

    April 14, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    I love it, but it’s a tough pill to swallow. You’re asking us to throw away a “fullhouse,” because you’re pretty certain we’re up against a “four of a kind.”

    I love the idea of getting Adrian Cardenas in the line up. And as for the nah sayers regarding putting Pat Burrell at first, I say hell, Travis Lee manned the bag for 2 seasons. I’d rather keep Pat’s homers and walks in the line up if they are going to continue.

  18. Geoff

    April 14, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Agreed. I will miss Ryan’s home runs but i will not miss his record number of strikeouts. It doesnt look like his K-rate is going to decrease by all that much through his career either. If thats the case, then you move him beacuse that hurts you jst as much as the homers and rbis help you.

  19. Bruce

    April 14, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    I can’t help but wonder if Howard gets hot as summer begins and has another huge productive year in HRs and RBIs and maybe another MVP award might change a few minds here? 😉

  20. Tim Malcolm

    April 14, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Bruce: What will change my mind is a World Series trophy. Maybe an NL pennant. Other than that, this team needs to improve any way it can.

  21. Mike T

    April 14, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Sorry Bruce, but I will continue to man the “Trade Howard” ship until it sinks. It’s nice to finally have some people on my side.

  22. Joe DiMaggio

    April 14, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Burrell is a valuable player with the walks he gets and would be a good choice to man first base assuming you can sign him up first before you trade Howard.

    I believe they should seriously consider moving Burrell to the number 3 or 4 spot in the lineup since he gets on base so much and let Utley and/or Howard hit behind Burrell to drive in more runs.

  23. Fran

    April 14, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    i never thought to trade howard ever. but after reading this it makes a ton of sense.

  24. VA Steve

    April 14, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    While the article does make sense, I believe patience is the key for a number of reasons. While Howard is older (28 I believe ?), this is still only his 3rd full season. Thus, the questions are, (1) will he become a better hitter (for average or at least putting the ball in play) and (2) will his defense improve with work, as he matures? Maybe, maybe not. But, is it worth another full season in 2008 and perhaps some of 2009 to make that decision? Some will say, well if you wait and he doesn’t improve in these areas, then EVERYONE in MLB will know this. Perhaps true, but there would still be a HUGE market in the AL for Mr. Howard as a DH. To me, the upside of another 15-16 months is far larger than a downside.

    Another point, ownership. Yes, the recent (or longer) past has indicated that they have not spent and stepped up like we fans wish they would have. I say then next 1-2 years are critical in this area as well. We have a nucleus of young talent that hasn’t been seen in these parts since probably the early to mid 70’s. NOW IS THE TIME to get aggressive, and MAKE it happen. LOCK up the talent (like you did with Chase), especially Hamels. He is going to be special. Also ownership, pay attention. Our city is waiting, perhaps desperate, for another championship. Check the attendance so far this season, high 30’s to 40+ every game. If we have a championship caliber team, this will continue. The money is there, you just need to spend it.

  25. gene p

    April 14, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    you guys are all wacked. yes howard strikes out a lot yes he has problems in the field. let the guy play. we focus too much on salariy just like we did with burrell. The guy is a power hitter and rbi machine. who is going to make up for those numbers adrian cardenas?

  26. Mr Met

    April 14, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Dumb. You want to trade Howard? You forgot to mention the Mets.
    I’ll give you Delgato for him, dumbell.

  27. typhoon

    April 14, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    I wouldn’t mind if the Phillies traded Howard after the ’09 season. They would have to get a good return though, and this ownership/front office has been awful at getting equal value in trades. With Howard they may even be able to get more than equal value, but I don’t trust this current ownership/Front office to be able to pull it off.

  28. Geoff

    April 14, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    the owners are all billionaires. they have the money. theyve had the money since before citizens bank park. theyre just taking us for a ride because they figured out the salary limit that maximizes profit. with that said of course i have a few six packs of tickets.

  29. Geoff

    April 14, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    whats interesting is that you can assemble a winner with what they spend if you spend it wisely. keeping howard is not wise in the grand scheme of things because they wont spend much more money unless one of the owners buys out the rest of them and injects 30-40 million into the payroll. so giving up 25 million a year for all of those strikeouts is foolish because you wont be able to keep hamels. hamels is the priority, not howard. theres no reason why we shouldnt be able to have both but they wont do that. would you rather have hamels or howard? its a very easy choice

  30. Crazy Chester

    April 15, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Yanks fan weighing in…

    That Yankee deal definitely isn’t out of the question, especially with Cashman on the way out and Hank Steinbrenner seemingly running ship these days. They only narrowly avoided trading a huge chunk of their young talent for Santana in the off-season, so if they get ants in their pants in a couple months I could see Hank making a few moves. It’d be a coup for the Phils, and as a Yankees fan I’d have to bury my head in the sand.

  31. Bill

    April 15, 2008 at 10:37 am

    If I thought the Phillies would get good prospects for Howard I would consider it. We all know when they trade good players away they get a bag of chips if they are lucky. I just think of Travis Lee and Vincente Padilla in the Curt Schilling deal.

    With that being the case I think the Phillies should pay Howard whatever it takes to lock him up. This will do two things. First, it will restore faith in the jaded fans (us) that the team is committed to winning. Second, it will keep one of the big faces in MLB in Philly which will bring the team more fans.

    Just remember, this team was offering Scott Rolen $150 million back in 2001. They have been willing to overpay before!


  32. brian

    April 15, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Good article. I agree completely; we’re not going to pay him, so get rid of him while we still can something other than a few “prospects” and a washed up starter. But Hamels or Burrell at first? I could see Burrell, especially considering his age and range, but Hamels? No way. That’d be a total waste or his range.

  33. Geoff

    April 15, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Id rather have hamels. Trade howard for a huge player package. they can pull it off.

  34. Geoff

    April 15, 2008 at 10:51 am

    YOu mean utley ar first? i agree with that i wouldnt put him there. I would put utley in left field and move burrell to first. bring up cardenas and play him at 2nd assuming he stands up to major league pitching.

  35. Tim Malcolm

    April 15, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Yeah Hamels at first would be a total waste of his range, considering his range shuts teams down.

  36. R.J.

    April 15, 2008 at 11:35 am

    The problem is that Howard is already old for his service time, and he could already start to decline by the time his arbitration years are over. His old-player skills will be a detriment and cause his numbers to slip relatively early. Other ball clubs know this and wouldn’t trade near that much for the slugger. If any of those teams listed came to the Phillies with the deal you laid out, Howard would be a goner within the week.

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  38. joe

    April 15, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Haha we all know why Howard hates Philadelphia! Maybe it’s because it’s the shittiest place in the country, and the people there are the lowest class d-bags I’ve ever seen!

  39. Mattro

    April 15, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    If you’re trading Howard, you better be getting a hell of a lot more than any of those scenarios. Ian Kennedy would NOT be a good return. Not sure why this guy’s getting so much praise, he’s a back of the rotation starter at best. For Howard in his prime you better be getting a guy who’s projected to be a No. 1 or 2 in addition to those other players.

  40. Butch

    April 15, 2008 at 12:17 pm


    You’re a child molester!!!

  41. Tim Malcolm

    April 15, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Mattro: Therein lies the problem with Yankees deals. They hype their kind so much that you really don’t know how good the players are. I originally thought of Joba coming over in return, but I can’t honestly think the Yanks would want to rid of him.

  42. marcello

    April 15, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Great article.

  43. connie ryan

    April 15, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Your argument makes a lot of sense to me, but, as one poster has
    already noted, it’s sad that Phillies ownership is so “frugal” that such
    a move is even contemplated. If it happens, they’d better get value
    for him…

  44. mick

    April 15, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Tim , you are right on with your Howard thoughts. You win with pitching and defense. The Phillies are terribly short in the pitching department–plus they will not spend the money that Howard will get elsewhere. When the Yankees prematurely give up on a couple of their kid pitchers ( and they will), it might be a long term winning move!

  45. ChiliGTC

    April 15, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Take this for what it’s worth as I am a Mets fan……

    I always questioned R Howard’s defensive ability at 1B. He had DH written all over him. His foot work was just horrific. However, watching that first Mets-Phillies series in NY this season (I was at the first game sitting next to 1B), I was impressed with his defensive game as it looks like he has much improved. Mind you he’ll never be a gold glove 1B, but he is passable. With that said, paying any ballplayer over $20 million per year has become exceedingly ridiculous…..might be better to sell high!

  46. Josh

    April 15, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    I’m a Giants fan, so pardon my focus on the Giants. Exactly why would they give up two of their top pitching prospects, Alderson and Tanner, their only worthwhile hitting prospect, Villalona, maybe the next Miguel Cabrera, a decent bullpen cantidate in Threets, which doesn’t seem that important but the Giants bullpen needs a lot of work, and then one of their top outfield prospects in Copeland. You do realize that would be 4 out of their top 10 minors prospects, right? For a rebuilding team like the Giants it makes absolutely no sense. Nor does it make sense for the Rangers or the Orioles. As good of a hitter as Howard is, he strikes out at about the same level as Adam Dunn. His power numbers are exagerated because he plays in the biggest hitters park in the league. He is in no way, shape, or form worth more than what the Mets gave up for Santana and he’s definitely not worth anything close to what the D’Backs gave up for Haren.

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  48. Beefcake

    April 15, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Josh, you’re forgetting that Brian Sabean is the Giants GM so no dumb move is out of the question.

  49. Sean

    April 15, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Giants fan here.

    Although it seems logical in regards to a face of the franchise and $$, we are strapped with Barry “theworstsigningever” Zito’s contract. Plus, Villalona is untouchable!

    I’d rather go for Tex than Howard though. In regards to Howard’s defense, Pujols was never a good defender until he actually took it to heart and now he’s a gold glover. Could that happen to Howard? I believe so. He’s a young kid who has a high ceiling.

  50. Martin

    April 15, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    I think it makes sense as well. Howard will be 29 in 6 months. You know he’s going to want a lengthy 7 or 8 year deal, and although he’s not a health risk, he’s also not exactly a rock of physical fitness. Having someone carry that type of weight is always a knee/back risk….see D.Ortiz. If a deal would be for 5 years I’d be ok with giving him a monster $20m per year contract as he’d still be relatively in the “prime” years, and the K’s I can live with as his high BB rate evens it out to me, but I don’t think he’d settle for less than 7 years. SF would seem like a natural fit given the bay Howard can hit moonshots into and they need a draw, but their system is futile and even if we were to get one of the Lincecum/Cain SPers there isn’t anything else there I’d want. There are no locks in their minor league system either. NYY will be freeing up a ton of $ and they can afford Howard, but they’re not going to deal Hughes or Joba, and Kennedy isn’t anything more than a #4 or 5 SP. Austin Jackson, Kennedy, Tabata, Horne etc not enough in my book…if they were to add Hughes then I’m more intrigued…Hughes, Jackson, Brett Gardner and another prospect or two would make it a lot more interesting. Mets don’t have enough even with Fernando Martinez, and they might not be able to afford him anyway. BAL, LAD, and TEX would provide the other best trading options from my viewpoint. Don’t think LA would deal Kershaw but there’s LaRoche, Elbert, Loney, Kemp etc out there that would help us at multiple positions. TEX has Salty, Chris Davis, E.Hurley, E.Beltre, Harrison etc, and BAL has the guys from the HOU & SEA trades and Wieters and R.Liz and a ton of young bullpen guys that we can use. I’d be fine with retaining Burrell and moving him to 1b as long as we could get a more than quality bat in LF to replace him…not some 2 man platoon option. However, with a similar type player like A.Dunn on the free agent market this winter, teams will also have a chance to just spend $ and not give up prospects too.

  51. Benjamin Franklin

    April 15, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    For a guy that hit a Home run pretty much every other day down the stretch last year y’all show em’ nolove

  52. Tim Malcolm

    April 15, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    If I had to rank the possible destinations, I’d go:


    That’s just my guess.

  53. chris.I

    April 15, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    I agree…And even I noticed the shift in his attitude, and his bat, But if thats the case, He’s digging his own hole.

  54. Baron

    April 15, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    In response to Howard to Giants for Angel Villilona i think that would be impossible. Not even the Sabean that gave Barry Zito 126 million is stupid enough to trade the best talent in the system. Villilona is projected to be to the best hitter to come out of the Giants system ever! I agree I see the Giants spending big money for Teixeira next year. Sabean is never the Gm that likes to rebuild.

  55. Rob Tyson

    April 15, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    While I find the premise totally ridiculous, I think that the article was well thought out and has changed my response from “You’re on crack” to “I still wouldn’t do it”.

  56. Jake Webb

    April 16, 2008 at 2:44 am

    As a relocated Phillie fan on the west coast (San Jose, CA), there is no way the Giants would give up the bounty written in here. Tim Alderson and Angel Villalona are untouchable in the Giants system. Alderson because he was just drafted and projects to be a frontline guy. Villalona because he is young raw talent (barely goning to be 18) and currently will be the first great farm-developed player since Clark. Plus they just moved him over from 3B to 1B…which would be pointless if Howard was acquired.
    Howard should be moved at some point during the next two seasons. With the current roster and farm system pieces, moving Howard for three or four top prospects could propel the Phillies to the top of the East with no worries of the Mets or Braves

  57. Vernon Dozier

    April 16, 2008 at 6:23 am

    I’d trade Howard in a heartbeat. His 45 point drop in batting average and ever increasing strikeout rate are huge red flags. Defensively, I have houseplants that have better range than Howard.

  58. Tim Hemcher

    April 16, 2008 at 10:24 am

    This article is ripe with huge huge holes in it! How can you let him get away with it. He states that Howards #’s do not compare whenthey are really superior. Check the real stats:

    Let’s use Pujols and Howard since both are 3 years

    Games – 475 – 423 – Howard has played 52 less games than Pujols

    HR – 138 – 114 – Howard has 24 more HR

    RBI – 381 -359 – Pujols has 22 more rbi in 52 more games whoopi:)

    BB – 261 – 220 – Howard has 41 more walks in 52 less games

    Ave. – 333 – 288 – Pujols is better ave hitter

    SO – 510 – 227 — 283 more for Howard – does it matter!

    Howard is the most prolific offensive producer in baseball the last 2.5 years – more production than ANY PLAYER in game – look it up and you people want to give him away – absolutely incredible but since all you look at is SO’s i can understand the lack of understanding!

  59. Brad Bicksler

    April 16, 2008 at 11:04 am

    I would at least explore a trade. Rollins, Utley, and Burrell have shown they want to be in Philadelphia. Howard wants his pay day at the expense of the organization. We need 25 players and a strong farm system to stay competitive.

  60. Vernon Dozier

    April 16, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    We’re looking at a guy that is a one dimensional player. Sure, it’s a dimension that fans get exicted over – but there are a lot of holes in Howard’s game. Strikeouts do matter, and he’s well on his way to breaking his own record. Let’s say his average takes another plunge this season. Is everybody still so warm and fuzzy over a guy that hits .240? Defense matters also, and he’s already botched several routine plays this season. Nobody is saying give him away, but to deem him an untouchable is ridiculous. If the Phillies can get a few top prospects they’d have to seriously consider a deal.

  61. Steve

    April 16, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Bad idea—their core has a 2-3 year window to contend (Rollins, Utley, Howard, Myers, Burrell and Hamels) Burrell is included only if they re-sign him (unlikely) . Since Howard is under control for 3 more seasons (I think) they should just go for it with him and then let him walk. By then Rollins and Utley will no longer be young players anyway and they will have to rebuild. There is no way they would get enough back for Howard by trading him now (which would be selling low) to contend right away. Just sit back and enjoy him being a bopper who can hit 35-45 homers a year for the next 3 years—not many teams have such a player.

  62. Geoff

    April 16, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Let him walk???? YOu could get a ton for him this year or at the winter meetings. Sure, enjoy him being a bopper for the next 3-4 years and watch the phillies FAIL to win a championship. If you make the right move and get the best deal, YOU CAN WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP with the package you get back in return for him now. When hes in his walk year you probbaly wont be able to trade him because everyone will know hes going to walk anyway. With the amount that he strikes out, I am not sure you can win a championship with him as a cleanup hitter in your lineup. Im serious, hes totally one-dimesnional like vernon said. Also, he said howards numbers dont compare because he has an unreal number of strikeouts. strikeouts kill late game late inning rallies and kill your momentum. i dont want that many strikeouts in my lineup. you see him up there, sure hell hit tons of homers but he hacks at stuff thats already in the dirt half of the time.

  63. Billy Beane

    April 16, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Love the article, but I have a few critiques. I think you’re underestimating (Sabean) the Giants GM’s stupidity. First of all. Threets would not be a good return as part of that deal. I think that you could atleast pull Lincecum and some better prospects from them. And you compared this deal with the Haren, Beddard, Santana, and Willis deals. You have to remember that there is a huge difference in Aces and Power hitters in terms of returns. Ace pitchers are overpriced right now mostly because we haven’t seen a 20 Game winner in a few years. But great article. Keep it up

  64. Tim Malcolm

    April 16, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    TIm — Pujols is clearly a more complete player than Howard. I’d do more comparables, but I don’t need to in this space. Howard definitely has RBI and HR totals over Pujols, yes, but go across the board and you’ll see Pujols is better offensively AND definitely defensively.

  65. Tim Malcolm

    April 16, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    To be honest, my knowledge of other teams’ prospects isn’t as vast as the Phillies’, but I tried to be somewhat realistic with returns.

  66. Steve

    April 16, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Actually Geoff, because he strikes out a lot and has high salary demands, I don’t think you would necessarily get a ton for him by trading him now, at least not any high ceiling young stars (ie Hanley Ramirez/Alex Rios/Joe Mauer types, though obviously these players except Rios are probably untouchable). You would get guys that potentially could be good and by the time the Phils sort who is any good, your window is gone. They already are a good team, and probably better than they have been the past several seasons. They just need the pitching to hold up and for players like Utley and Rollins to stay healthy and then they have a chance. I do agree I would rather give bucks to Hamels—but only when he’s proven to be durable, which hasn’t happened yet.

    Trading Howard for any unproven player, no matter how high a ceiling, I think would be more risky than just keeping him and trying to win with what they have after adding more parts.

  67. true met fan

    April 16, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    If he was a righty, I’d sign him in a hearbeat as a FA, but I agree with you guys I think He’s a notch below Pujols,A-Rod level. Those HR’s would suffer a bit at Shea, but I remember being at a game where he hit a bomb off the scoreboard which is no joke. From what I recall he cant be a FA for a couple more years right ?

  68. Brian J.

    April 17, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Would be the biggest mistake ever. He was worse than this last year through the same period of time… You don’t trade talent like Howard when you are a contender. Especially with no one to step in… the Burrell thing is pretty ridiculous. You just don’t convert a guy to first base that easily. Burrell isn’t even a very good left fielder.

  69. Mike T.

    April 17, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Brian J., out of all the responses that disagree with Tim, yours contains the most incorrect statements.

  70. Mike

    April 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Howard is a Strikeout king and a bum. Id love for this team to get rid of howard and make room for cardenas (although he is more then a year away from the bigs) I saw we keep howard till after 09, then get him out of here. All while signing Pat the Bat long term again next year.

  71. Mike

    April 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Also Brian J.,

    Pat Burrell Was a first baseman in the Minor and Early in his Major League Career. I say it would take less then a spring training for him to readjust to first.

  72. Derek

    April 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Brian J, I’m just gonna throw this out there at ya but Pat was a Third Baseman in College so he has played the infield before. It’s not totally out of the question

  73. Patrick

    April 18, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    What’s wrong with being just an average first baseman? The man can rake. DH is really more of a position for guys who get injured too much when they play every day, like Ortiz, Thome, and Hafner. The only good explanation I see here is if Howard really is unhappy with playing for Philadelphia for whatever reason. And why would you move Utley from second? He’s been proven over and over as one of the best fielding second basemen out there. If you have the best fielder and hitter at his position in all of baseball, why move him for some prospect? If anything, Burrell (a notoriously poor fielder) should move from left.

  74. Geoff

    April 18, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    You move him for like 5 prospects that will be major league players in less than two years. thats what you should get for howard. two of those prospects, one position player and one starting pitcher, are elite top 100 prospects.

  75. Vernon Dozier

    April 18, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Florida has become very skilled at moving a player at the right time. They don’t wait until it gets to a point where they have no leverage. They’ve won two Championships in 15 years of existence. The Phillies have been around 126 years and won once. The Rolen and Schilling deals were debacles because Ed Wade waited much too long to pull the trigger on a deal. The Dodgers have been looking for a power hitter for years now. If they would trade James Loney, Andy LaRoche, and Clay Kershaw for Howard and Pete Happy, I’d do it in a second!

  76. Gabe

    April 18, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Brilliant article regarding the value of Howard. I love rooting for a team with a monster hitter, but the Phillies need solid pitching. It’s an inherent weakness every year for this team; therefore, utilizing Howard’s trade value now is imperative. It’s funny that you referenced the San Francisco Giants because I made this argument to fellow Bay residents since Howard’s arbitration. I think he would be HUGE in the Bay area. The Giants fans love their batters, and they need a replacement for Bonds. Plus, the Giants have a decent amount of pitching talent that they could unload and still remain focused on growth. Unfortunately, I think the owners of the Phillies are more concerned with Howard’s ability to sell tickets and merchandise, rather than his ability to help this team win a Championship. It’s a tough call on Howard, but being a transplant to the Bay area, I would rather see him hit homers into the bay than watch my beloved Phillies stuck in mediocrity.

  77. Steve

    April 23, 2008 at 1:29 am

    you won’t get 5 major league ready (2 high ceiling) prospects for Howard—no way. Again–just keep him for his peak years and rebuild after he leaves—you also have the option to trade him a year before FA. (what Keith law of ESPN says and I agree)

    Also you guys will feel differently when Howard is carrying the team in August and September.

  78. Adam

    April 23, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    It be pointless to give Howard all this money. spending upwards of 200 million for a guy who will lead the league in strikeouts a year is crazy. Granite he will hit 40 HRs and 130 RBIs a year, that is money that could be spent to fortify a pitching staff that can win ball games. Were so close to getting a World Series team together and I don’t think Howard needs to be part of it. We are always in the top of the league with scoring runs, we don’t need to piss away 250 million on a player batting .189 this year with 4 Hrs through 21 games. Give Burrell a decent contract for 4-5 years, sign Lidge for about the same, Hamels needs a deal and potentially signing Werth to a deal. That right there alone is about 35-40 million in payroll compared to 25 million for one player and not be able to sign a huge part of the franchise. I’m ready to ship Howard to the American League. The rest of Philadelphia needs to realize this. I hope the Franchise does the right thing and keeps it core, while cutting away the fat.

  79. Pingback: The Sports Complex :: Blog Archive :: On Trading Ryan Howard :: Philadelphia City Paper :: Philadelphia Arts, Restaurants, Music, Movies, Jobs, Classifieds, Blogs

  80. Pingback: FJM: Howard Is A Beast, Let’s Not Ditch Him, Kay? | Phillies Nation

  81. Nick

    June 17, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Teams like the Yankees are moving more toward building and keeping their farm system rather that spending huge amount of money on players like Ryan Howard. Plus, you get rid of Howard – who is going to protect Utley in the lineup? Burrell certainly is not. The entire topic of trading Howard is completely ridiculous. Yes, its frustrating to see him strike out frequently, but that is no reason to get rid of the guy. You want to talk about getting rid of the fat? Get rid of Brett Myers. I’d much rather see him go, then have Howard traded. Yes, Hamels and Lidge are going to need a new contracts, and I’m sure they will get them within due time. Howard is not going to command Alex Rodriguez money. That is completely insane. He’s 29 years old with less than four years of Major League experience. OK, so he won his arbitration this year for $10 million, but do I think he deserves that kind of money? Absolutely not. He will get a long term deal from the front office. The future for the Phillies is now.

  82. Pingback: Status Quo Is Right Way To Go With Howard | Phillies Nation

  83. taylor

    March 2, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    anyone have some real experience on options?

  84. Jaylon

    August 24, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    ***** Obviously this ridiculous article was written before Howard helped the Phills WIN the WS. Absolutely preposterous column and I lose a lot of respect for the author. I respect everyone’s opinion and feel their entitled to that but to trade a guy who’s absolutely the single MOST FEARED hitter in your lineup is, in a word, insane.

    Can you imagine the Phills without Howard smack dab in the meat of that lineup? I can tell ou thi, it ain’t the Phills no more. Not this era’s version anyway. Utley and Howard are the engoine that make that team go. People’s comments on here astound me. Fastest player to reach 200 HRs. Has WON an MVP, one he most definitely deserved. The only player in this era, not sauced up to basically belt 60 Hr (58) and his RBI #’s are absolutely INCREDIBLE. The year he won the MVP he did something that most pure power hitters don’t do, he hit .313 (.300+)

    As i’m writing this he just belted 2 HRs vs the Mets and has carried he Phills the past 2 weeks to another potential division title. Trade ’em Philly.. and yu wil regret it the rest of your lives, especially anytime soon.

  85. Trox

    April 7, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    This is hilarious to read now. What a joke. Even when this was written the numbers he gave were on par for rodriguez and pujols other than average and who cares about strike outs. I admit, hindsight is 20/20 but this was a joke even at the time. What a clown. Adrian Cardenas lol.

  86. Liz

    April 8, 2010 at 8:03 am

    These comments are idiotic (“granite” instead of “granted” ? ) I wish I could travel back and time and tell those people in April 2008 to hold out til the end of the season. Thank god these fools weren’t involved in Phillies management. Ryan Howard is.the.man.

  87. Kamilah Bure

    May 25, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Wasn’t he involved in a strange shooting incident?

  88. Heriberto Chappa

    July 10, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Genuinely actually great weblog submit which has obtained me considering. I by no means looked at this from the stage of look at.

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