The Philadelphia Phillies would love nothing more than to rid themselves of the remaining $70 million left on Ryan Howard's contract and it has gotten so bad to the point where the Phillies have had internal discussions on releasing him after the season.
In the meantime, the Phillies, who have since benched Howard for Darin Ruf, have openly shopped Howard to virtually every team in the league, especially every team in the American League and have even offered to pay the most of the remaining $70 million left on his deal that runs through 2016, which includes the New York Yankees, but as Jayson Stark of ESPN reported on Friday, they weren't taking.
"They've offered him around to any AL team that might theoretically need him and gotten no takers, from what I've heard. They've offered to pay virtually all of the money and not asked for much of anything back, and still gotten no bites. But how can they release him, at least right now? Look at their system. They look as if they'll barely have enough players to field a team next year if they just dump all the guys their fans are tired of. So if releasing him were to happen, it certainly isn't imminent."
Howard has been dreadful this season for the Phillies, as he was hitting .224 with 15 home runs and 60 RBI in 91 games this year and has managed to stay healthy, but has barely been the same player over the last couple of years.
The last time Howard looked like the power-hitting home run hitter that made the Phillies pay him a five-year, $125 million year deal several years ago, was back in 2011 when he had 33 home runs and 116 RBI, but then he tore his Achilles in Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS and hasn't been able to stay on the field since; playing in just 71 games in 2012 and 80 games in 2013.
The idea of the Yankees going after Howard doesn't make any sense, especially if Mark Teixeira returns to the team and continues to play. If he were out for the season, then there might be some consideration, but Teixeira isn't expected to miss the remainder of the season unlike last year, which is where Howard could have been more useful.
Along with not being useful at first base, Howard likely wouldn't work at DH either, as both Carlos Beltran and next year, the returning Alex Rodriguez will likely need that spot in order to play either in 2015, and again, Howard still doesn't fit for the Yankees.
A few years ago, if the Phillies were offering to pay most of Howard's salary, half of the league would be taking him off the Phillies hands, but in 2014, that is clearly not the case and it's teams like the Yankees and everyone else who are staying away from Howard.
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