According to Tampa Bay’s WDAE Sports Radio, the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays have been discussing a potential trade that would send David Price to Philadelphia and Ryan Howard to the Rays. This trade rumor is certainly baffling and doesn’t seem possible, but according to the radio stations report, it could very well happen.
The rumor has the Phillies sending either a first base or catching prospect along with Howard to Tampa Bay in return for Price. Obviously the trade makes sense for the Phillies, but the Rays certainly couldn’t be considering this deal, could they? At the age of 33, Ryan Howard still has a few good years of baseball left, and looks to be back to full health following a nagging Achilles injury last year. He was able to play in 80 games last year and put up 11 HR’s and 43 RBI’s which certainly aren’t terrible numbers for the games played.
David Price is one of the best pitchers in the game and is a former Cy Young award winner. He went 10-8 last season with a 3.33 ERA and also struck out 151 batters. He had a bit of a down season, there’s no doubt about that, but he’s still one of the most talented players in the majors right now.
The trade could help the Rays offense in a big way if Ryan Howard stays healthy and plays at the level that he’s capable of, which would be a huge boost from last year. David Price likely won’t be re-signed anyway, so the Rays are likely considering moving him for the best return possible. According to the radio show, the Phillies would also be willing to pay half of the remaining deal that Howard is on, which is another definite positive for Tampa Bay.
As for the Phillies, this move nets them the young ace starting pitcher that they’ve been looking for. Current starter Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels aren’t getting any younger and Price could be the #1 option easily this year. Darin Ruf is expected to step in and replace Howard if they move him, or the Phillies could go out and sign someone in free agency as well. Whenever you can net a player like David Price and afford to give him a long-term extension, you do whatever you can to make it happen.
Overall, this is just a rumor at this point and there is no concrete proof that it is actually being discussed. There are reasons that it could work for both teams, but it just doesn’t seem like the best return that the Rays could get in return for their star pitcher. Ryan Howard is an intriguing fit in Tampa Bay, but it just isn’t enough to trade straight up for the Rays.
Evan Massey is the Lead Editor for Pro Sport Extra. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.