New York Yankees Rumors: Did Yankees target Ryan Howard in winter?


According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the New York Yankees were so worried about Mark Teixeira this winter, that they inquired about Ryan Howard, but, as with many of their other players, the Philadelphia Phillies asking price was too high:

"The Yankees were worried enough about Teixeira that they were among teams to look into Howard this winter. However, they saw the asking price as way too high, though."

It is no surprise that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. had an asking price that the Yankees weren’t willing to meet.  It is hard to envision Amaro not asking for one of the Yankees top prospects for the 35-year-old first baseman who hasn’t performed well since 2011.

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What is interesting here is that Heyman says the Yankees were worried about Teixeira.  Were they worried about his performance or his health?  Both had been on the decline for several years, and were question marks entering the season.

Teixeira has rebounded well in 2015, however, leading the Yankees in many offense categories, while ranking first in the AL in RBI, and second in home runs, entering Saturday.  He also has put up the best slugging percentage of his career.

With Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez both having rebound years, there simply would be nowhere for Howard to play.  Howard has remained healthy in 2015, and is on pace to have his best season since 2011, but for the Yankees the move would have been very questionable.

Howard is owed $50-million between 2015 and 2016, with a $23-million option for 2017.  While Teixeira had struggled to stay healthy the past three seasons, Howard’s health and performance have both also declined.

Trading away a prospect for a first baseman who is very similar, yet less talented, to the one already on the roster would have been a horrible decision by Cashman, and it is great that he didn’t make a deal for Howard.  Now that the farm system is finally ready to pay dividends, it would be unwise to send players packing for declining overpaid players who wouldn’t have a position on this team.

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