Sunday, March 14, 2010

Phillies discussing Howard for Pujols swap. Wait, what?

This one comes from out of nowhere: Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that the Phillies are having internal discussions about swapping first basemen with the Cardinals, trading Ryan Howard for Albert Pujols. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro has already stepped up and denied this rumor, but Olney must have a pretty reliable source to float out a crazy rumor like that.

Despite what we all think about Ryan Howard, if the Phillies actually made this deal happen it would be tremendous. Pujols, who will be a free agent after the 2011 season, is the best hitter in the modern era and brings much more to the table than Howard. If the Phillies somehow acquired him and signed him to an extension, he would an anchor in the middle of the Phillies lineup for the next decade. Of course, because he's the best hitter in the game, the Cardinals would be foolish to trade him because they could never get equal value in return. It would take much more than just Ryan Howard in a trade to pry him from the Cardinals, who will be doing everything they can to sign Pujols before he becomes a free agent.

Will this trade ever happen? Nope. Despite Howard's ties to St. Louis and his impending free agency in 2012, this kind of trade only happens in fantasy baseball. While we know Amaro is willing to be aggressive in the trade market, don't hold your breath waiting for this one to happen.

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