By Brad Berreman @bradberreman24 on July 25, 2014
Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is going through a third straight dismal season, and he's now been benched. Rumors surrounding Howard's potential release have been squashed by general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., and to this point any attempt to trade him has not gone far.
Here are five potential landing spots for Howard, if he is traded before next week's deadline or ultimately released at some point in the near future.
The Indians are not getting much production from Nick Swisher (.208, eight home runs and 40 RBI entering Friday) and Ryan Raburn (.199, two home runs and 18 RBI) as they look to remain in playoff contention. Adding Howard would give Terry Francona another option at DH, albeit a potentially expensive one with minimal upside right now.
The Mariners recently sent Justin Smoak back down to Triple-A, which opens up some playing time at first base in the short-term. Howard could provide a much-needed offensive boost if he's deployed properly, and Seattle's re-acquisition of Kendrys Morales should not prevent any interest.
Howard's contract may be too much for the Brewers to take on, at least without the Phillies picking up a lot of the remaining money, but he could fit nicely as part of a platoon with Mark Reynolds.
Albert Pujols is in place at first base for the Angels, but Howard looks like a solid fit as primarily a designated hitter that could spell Pujols at times. If nothing else, the $60 million in guaranteed money ($10 million buyout for 2017) left on Howard's contract after this season may not be a major concern for the Angels.
Mark Teixeira is dealing with another injury, and the Yankees may look to add another bat before the trade deadline. The short right field porch at Yankee Stadium would help mask Howard's recent deficiencies as a hitter, and he could then provide a power boost to an offense that needs it.
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