The Phillies should trade Ryan Howard

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Ryan Howard.jpgZoinks! It’s not me saying it. It’s Bill at Crashburn Alley.

There’s math and caveats and stuff so you should probably read the whole thing rather than expect me to blockquote it, but the argument boils down to this: trading Howard would clear payroll space, allow the team to retain Jayson Werth, would help replenish the farm system and would thus allow them to stay competitive in 2012 and beyond.

Of course a similar argument could be made about most every superstar. It may be more apt in Howard’s case seeing as though it’s not as if he’s the only franchise-leading talent on that team and seeing as though there’s reason to suspect based on his skill set and body type that he may age more poorly than most.

Of course, as long as the Phillies keep a packed house and remain front runners to win the NL Pennant, this is all just crazy talk.

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.

Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.

While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.