There’s no secret that Ryan Howard’s time in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform has come to an end. With Howard becoming basically joining the MLB Free Agency class this offseason it leaves a question. Where will he end up?
There has to be at least a handful of teams willing to take a bite on Howard. He’s 36 but he still has more power the 70 percent of the hitters in the majors. But the catch here is that Howard still wants to be a full-time player and with the right team he just may be. But, it won’t be in the National League. For a team to take a risk on a player that batted .196 with 25 home runs, 59 RBIs but still managed 114 strikeouts.
Howard is no longer the MVP capable but he can still produce for a team looking for a power bat. Not saying that he isn’t giving a 100 percent for the Phillies. But how can you stay focused on a team that has had your name in trade rumors for the past two seasons and has either traded or let your friends walk that have transformed the organization?
With Howard set to be a free agent as it appears the Phillies will buyout his contract this offseason, the team gave Howard a proper send-off in his last home game and just like that. But do not make any mistakes about it. They would like for him to be part of a contender to finish out his career and maybe that’s what has slowed up the process. No contender wanted a player with a year and a half of that kind of money he was making.
But with a year left, someone will bite on Howard. But which team?
What team is a power bat away? We could make an argument for the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees or the Toronto Blue Jays. While all teams may not be in the market for an older player as all have either sent their’s packing or will do so at the end of the season, Howard may be a risk for them.
If no AL teams come calling he may be forced to take a platoon job with a team like the Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals or Houston Astros. But one thing is clear, we will not see Howard in a Phillies uniform again.