The Yankees need another bat. Ryan Howard needs a new home, and the Phillies may pick up most of the freight. Could the Yankees be a fit? Well, CBS Sports Jon Heyman is reporting that the Phillies are working hard to trade Howard, especially to a team in the American League that’s in need of a DH.
icymi: phils have been trying to trade ryan howard, and are willing to pay most of the $70M to go. http://t.co/kGExhaxEw0
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 25, 2014
Howard is owed a whopping $70 (!) million through 2016, including a $23 million team option with a $10 million buyout for 2017. Howard has a .682 OPS and has the lowest slugging percentage of any starting National League first baseman. Ryne Sandberg has talked about platooning Howard. There are also rumors circulating that the Phillies are considering just flat out releasing Howard, which would make him an even more attractive option for the Yankees. Phillies’ GM, Ruben Amaro, Jr. is denying such talk at this point in time.
— Phillies Pheed (@PhilliesPheed) July 25, 2014
Why does he fit? Well, if he has anything left in the tank, and can get it together in a new city, he left-handed pop would play rather well at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees also don’t have anyone else who can play at first (though Brian McCann has been okay so far)
If Carlos Beltran can get back out to right field, Ichiro Suzuki can be what he should be, a fourth outfielder. Howard can play everyday against righties and the Yankees can use others against left-handed pitching. With the Phillies so desperate to trade him, the Yanks won’t have to give up much for him.
Howard’s problem seems to be that he’s not hitting enough line drives. According to Fangraphs, his line drive percentage is down from 23.9% to 22%. Only 15% of his fly balls have been homers, compared to 27.5% just two years ago.
If healthy, and depending on how much Philly is willing to pay, the Yanks should try and snatch him. He could re-discover his stroke in a stadium that will fit him well.