Phillies tried to slip Ryan Howard into a Marlon Byrd trade with the Orioles

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It was no secret that the Phillies were trying to move outfielder Marlon Byrd when front office personnel and the media descended upon San Diego earlier this week. The Phillies also tried, to no avail, to move first baseman Ryan Howard. MASN’s Roch Kubatko notes that when the Phillies discussed a potential Byrd trade with the Orioles, they tried to attach Howard in the deal as well.

Howard, 35, ranked among the game’s least valuable players in 2014 and is still owed $60 million through 2016. The Phillies would no doubt need to pick up a healthy portion of his remaining salary in order to entice another team to acquire the former MVP.

Byrd, 37, is under contract for just the 2015 season at $8 million, but his 2016 option can become guaranteed at the same price if he accrues 550 plate appearances next season. Other options for the Orioles include Delmon Young, Michael Morse, and Melky Cabrera.

Rumor: MLB execs discussing 100-game season that would begin July 1

David Price and Mookie Betts
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Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.

In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.

Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.

Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.