The Phillies are working to trade Ryan Howard. Good luck with that!

62 Comments

source: Getty Images

At times like these I’m always inspired to post one of my favorite tweets ever:

It seems so long ago. And it may as well be. Buster Olney reports today that the Phillies themselves are trying to make that history this winter:

Ryan Howard has had his last at-bat as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.

That’s what the Phillies hope, anyway. That’s their goal, according to rival executives . . . The mantra on Howard appears to be: He is priced to move.

Olney reports that the only possible targets are AL teams where he could DH and play occasional first base. I mean, get this line from an anonymous source in there: “He’s Adam Dunn, although Adam Dunn is probably a better defender at this point than he is.”

Ouch.

Howard is owed $50 million for 2015 and 2016 and either a $23 million 2017 option or a $10 million buyout. So let’s call it $6o million over three years. Of course, if we’ve learned one thing in the past few years it’s that no one is untradeable. Vernon Wells was dealt. Alex Rios. Dunn. There are bad contracts attached to washed up players that can and do get moved.

But it’s not like the Phillies aren’t going to be paying most of Howard’s deal. And it’s not like they can expect a lot in return for Howard. Mostly it’d be a page-turning deal. A signal to the team and the parts of the fan base that are still living in 2008 that the team is fully committed to rebuilding.

Report: Diamondbacks acquire Steven Souza from Rays; Yankees land Brandon Drury

AP Photo
8 Comments

Update (6:35 PM ET): This is a three-team deal also involving the Diamondbacks, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Diamondbacks will receive outfielder Steven Souza from the Rays and second baseman Brandon Drury will head to the Yankees. Lefty reliever Anthony Banda will go to the Rays, Piecoro adds. The Diamondbacks will also receive prospect Taylor Widener from the Yankees, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert adds that the Rays will get two players to be named later from the D-Backs.

Souza, 28, is earning $3.55 million in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility, so the Rays are presumably saving money in moving him. Last season, Souza hit a productive .239/.351/.459 with 30 home runs, 78 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 617 plate appearances. Souza’s arrival almost certainly pushes Yasmany Tomas out of a starting gig.

Drury, 25, has played a handful of positions in his brief major league career. Last year, he played second base in Arizona, batting .267/.317/.447 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 480 PA.

Banda, 24, made his major league debut last season, posting an ugly 5.96 ERA with a 25/10 K/BB ratio in 25 2/3 innings. The peripherals suggest he pitched better than his ERA indicated.

Widener, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the 12th round of the 2016 draft. This past season with High-A Tampa, he pitched 119 1/3 innings and posted a 3.39 ERA with a 129/50 K/BB ratio. MLB Pipeline rated Widener as the 14th-best prospect in the Yankees’ system.

*

Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Rays will acquire second base prospect Nick Solak from the Yankees. The Yankees’ return is presently not known.

Solak, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2016 draft. He spent last season between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, hitting a combined .297/.384/.452 with 12 home runs, 53 RBI, 72 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.

MLB Pipeline ranked Solak as the eighth-best prospect in the Yankees’ system and the fifth-best second base prospect in baseball, praising him for his ability to hit line drives as well as his speed.