Prior to the Phillies getting underway with their afternoon matinée series finale in Cincinnati, I tweeted this…
Roughly 10 minutes later came the news Ryan Howard had signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves.
I was mildly surprised Howard didn’t sign with any team for a spring training stint, even though I acknowledge his value has plummeted in recent years and understand why teams may not be too enthusiastic about adding Howard to their club. Regardless, I still think Howard is worth having around just to kick the tires at the very least. There is also the possibility Howard had no interest in going through another spring training. He’s already been paid $10 million for 2017 by the Phillies after having his contract bought out, and he had to expect some team was going to give him a call at some point. The assumption was Howard would end up on an American League team to fill a designated hitter spot. Instead, it is the Braves who came calling with an offer.
It should be interesting to see how this all plays out. I would imagine Howard won’t stick around in Triple-A for too long, especially with the Braves in need of some power at the plate. When Howard connects, he can still deliver. Best of luck to Howard, and he would, of course, be worthy of a standing ovation should he get a chance to play again in Philadelphia as a visiting player.