The Philadelphia Phillies are looking to deal veteran first baseman Ryan Howard before the trade deadline and have told teams they will eat essentially all of the $50 million-plus remaining on his contract. However, the Phillies so far have been unable to assure teams that Ryan Howard will stop being terrible at baseball.
“They’re just not willing to negotiate on it,” said a rival GM. “I said we would even pick up half of Ryan’s contract if they could tell me that he would simply be a serviceable player who provides some power. But they said no. They said he will be completely terrible. If that’s their approach, I don’t see a deal getting done.”
Howard has a career-worst .682 OPS on the season and is hitting .162 in July.
“This is a guy making $25 million a year,” said another GM. “For him to get dealt, the numbers are going to have to work. I asked them to give me a Howard with a .800 OPS and a .242 average. Nope. No compromise.”
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., said he doesn’t have much say when it comes to Howard.
“The contract he signed with us has a no-production clause, and he’s been adamant about sticking to that and not producing,” said the embattled GM. “I would love for him to waive that clause, but he has not given us any indication that he will.”
Without any other options, Amaro plans to bench Howard in hopes of raising his trade value.
“The more teams see him play baseball, the less likely they will be to want him,” he said.
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