Trade Rumor: Albert Pujols to Philly for Ryan Howard


Could Ryan Howard be returning to his hometown of St. Louis?
  • Could Ryan Howard be returning to his hometown of St. Louis?
That's the speculation over at, where the sports network says the Philadelphia Phillies are discussing the possibility of swapping Howard for Pujols.

The two first basemen are the same age and put up gaudy offensive numbers -- though Pujols is considered the better player. Make that the best player in baseball.

The logic for a Howard for Pujols swap, as discussed within the Phillies' organization, could fall along these lines: Pujols, 30 years old, is eligible for free agency after the 2011 season, and early conversations about a contract extension have not led to any long-term deal. The expectation within baseball is that Pujols may ask for a deal that would rival, in annual value, the record-setting 10-year, $275 million deal that Alex Rodriguez negotiated with the Yankees in fall 2007.
Howard's salary ($19 million this year, $20 mil in 2011) is currently more than Pujols', but he'd likely be cheaper in the long run. There's also the fact that Howard is a St. Louis native (Lafayette High School). He's also a left-handed bat, which the Cardinals could certainly use.

Whaddya think? Me thinks if the Cardinals would ever trade Pujols, Howard is one of the few -- if only -- players who could make it work.