A word on trading Ryan Howard
OK, here are a few more, hopefully with a little less of a glimpse of the obvious:
After watching Howard win Tuesday’s game for the Phillies with a 430-foot homer, it’s pretty easy to suggest Philly hang onto their top hitting prospect. Yes, the Phillies need a starter, but not at that price. Jim Thome’s in the way and on his way back in early August, but you need insurance against Thome’s health and bench strength if you want to contend this year. These are things the Phillies, who no doubt would move Thome’s contract now if they could, already appear to have decided. Howard’s off the market, from everything that’s being reported. (Seems like the first time in two years we’ve heard that.)
And maybe trading Billy Wagner isn’t such a bright idea at the moment, either. Things can change a lot in the next 11 days, but with the Phillies being five games out in the NL East and 3 1/2 games in the Wild Card, adding seems to make a lot more sense than subtracting at this point. As suggested by the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Jim Salisbury, maybe Cole Hamels could be the pitching solution and standing pat really might be the best option at this point for the Phillies.
That’s the kind of trading season this is shaping up to be. When it comes to big moves, there seem to be more reasons not to do things than to do them — nobody seems to want a rental, and nobody seems to want to give up prospects. So many teams are weighing their options still, and sellers keep on asking for the farm. Maybe the other shoe dropping on a Burnett deal will open things up — the little flurry last week didn’t exactly do it.