In 2004 the world took its first looks at Ryan Howard. A man who was showered in cheers now hides from an onslaught of boos. In 13 years Howard has become not only the most beloved athlete in Philly, but also the most hated athlete in Philly.
At the end of the current season Howards remaining contract can be bought out, relinquishing him of all ties with the Phillies. A move that the Phillies would be foolish not to make. Meaning this could be Howards final season not only with the Phillies but in Baseball all together.
Howards decline in power and increased strike out rate and humiliatingly low average is a huge turn off for teams, especially with the price tag he holds. So far in the 2016 season Howard has played in 19 games, during those games Howard is batting .183 with 4 home runs and 19 strikeouts. At the rate Howard has a chance lead the league in strikeouts again.
Former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro thought it would be wise to give the superstar a huge pay raise in 2012, netting a $125,000,000 guaranteed contract for 5 years with a team option for 2017. This contract has been nothing more than a plague for the Phillies ever since Howard signed it. Howard has missed a combined year of baseball due to two separate Achilles injuries during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Caused problems with signing free agents, especially in loosing fan favorite Jason Werth to the Washington Nationals. Forced Phillies to miss out on bidding for foreign players like Yasiel Puig and Masahiro Tanaka. Players that are thriving with their current teams.
With Howard set to depart after this season the money saved can be used to sign young talent to long term deals. Ensuring the Phillies don’t loose players like Aaron Nola and Maikel Franco to free agency.
Everything is in Howards hands though. If he can prove he deserves to stay the Phillies organization and the fans will wave him into retirement. If Howard continues on his current trend he’ll be one of the first players looking for a new job during the upcoming offseason.