Saturday, July 16, 2016

Phillies Trade Chips: Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz

Over the next couple of days, I'll be taking a look at some of the various Phillies players who I believe stand the best chance of being moved by the club before the MLB non-waiver trade deadline of August 1st, or some time after that point after clearing waivers.
A pair of players who I believe could fit into either of those possibilities are the two senior citizens in the clubhouse, the last two remaining 2008 World Series heroes, 1st baseman Ryan Howard and catcher Carlos Ruiz.
Both 'The Big Piece' and 'Chooch' are in the final guaranteed seasons of their contracts. They are both into their upper-30's, with Howard now 36 and Ruiz at 37 years of age. They have each been replaced in the starting lineup.
Really, there is no reason at this point that either player needs to be on this current Phillies roster. The Phils need to give Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp the full-time plate appearances against all pitching to better gauge exactly what they might have for the future.
There are options to fill their roles as a backup. Aaron Altherr is within a couple of weeks of being ready to be activated from the disabled list. This could allow the Phils to begin working out someone like Cody Asche as a backup for 1st base.
The most likely scenario behind the dish would be that Rupp continues as the starter
, and that the club promotes their AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs backup, Logan Moore
This would enable Andrew Knapp and Jorge Alfaro to continue getting full-time at-bats at AAA and AA respectively.
When you are talking about dealing Ruiz and Howard, you have to be realistic in your expectations of what the Phillies would be getting in return. These are basically going to be giveaways.
Jul 11, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Ruiz (51) greets first baseman Howard (6) after his solo home run in the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
You should expect, first of all, that the Phillies would likely have to take care of both the $10 million buyout of Howard's 2017 contract, and the $500,000 buyout on the Ruiz contract for next season.
Even with picking up the rest of those deals, the Phillies should expect nothing more in return than a low-level prospect from another organization.
The destination would be a strong contending team for each, giving the two respected veterans who have contributed so much to the franchise' past success that one more opportunity to play in the postseason and a run at a late-career ring.
So you should be thinking that it will be a contender with a possible need, one willing to pay a low price to add an experienced veteran to their roster and clubhouse.

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