Discussion: Is A Howard-Pujols Swap Realistic?

The Phillies organization has internally discussed proposing a swap of Ryan Howard for Albert Pujols, sources tell Buster Olney of ESPN.  Philadelphia GM Ruben Amaro shot the notion down, saying, "That's a lie.  I don't know who you're talking to, but that's a lie."  Olney stresses that it is not fully clear whether the Phillies have actually approached the Cardinals with the idea.

Both sluggers are 30 years-of-age and both are eligible for free agency following the 2011 season.  Pujols is owed $16MM in each of the next two seasons.  Howard, meanwhile, is set to make $19MM in 2010 and $20MM the following year.  While Pujols comes at a slightly cheaper rate in the next couple of years he (in all likelihood) would cost more to retain than Howard.

Olney points out that Howard is a St. Louis native, meaning that the Cards may be able to sell their fans on such a deal.  However, the Cardinals faithful have more or less adopted their three-time NL MVP, who is entering his 10th big league season with the club.

While owner Bill DeWitt wants to keep Pujols in red and white for life, an A-Rodesque $275MM deal might not be financially prudent for the organization.  One has to wonder if the Cardinals will have to consider trading their megastar.  If so, could a deal centered around Ryan Howard make sense?


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264 Comments on "Discussion: Is A Howard-Pujols Swap Realistic?"


TheBunk
5 years 5 months ago

No and I don’t have to say why, it should be obvious to everyone.

Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Not only will such a trade never happen, but there might be an attendance of 100 people at Busch Stadium every night if Pujols ends up elsewhere. Even though I’m skeptical about the chances of Pujols remaining a Card for life, There is a 0% chance that he gets traded to the Phillies for Ryan Howard.

Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Not only will such a trade never happen, but there might be an attendance of 100 people at Busch Stadium every night if Pujols ends up elsewhere. Even though I’m skeptical about the chances of Pujols remaining a Card for life, There is a 0% chance that he gets traded to the Phillies for Ryan Howard.

Paul Boyé
5 years 5 months ago

Nice pipe dream for us, nightmare for Cards fans.

This was irresponsibly leaked by whoever told this to Olney, and there’s no way this happens in any fashion.

WILLIAMDWYER
5 years 5 months ago

The funny thing is, it was probably STL “leaking” it to test the STL fan base’s reaction. It still won’t happen, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see STL thinking about it. But it will never happen as a straight swap with Howard.

thephilafan
5 years 5 months ago

I’d rather have Pujols myself, but you say that as if Howard is a bad player. A “nightmare” for cards fans? Really? Ryan Howard is the most important Phillies player, NOT CHASE UTLEY. Howard is the reason they got to the world series the last two years.

ivdown
5 years 5 months ago

It’s crazy how even his own fan base underrates the crap out of Chase Utley. He’s the best second baseman in the league by far, and people still think Ryan Howard is better…insane.

TheBunk
5 years 5 months ago

I understand you guys post all rumors but this is one i’d really refrain from posting, it’s ridiculous and 100% will never happen.

Notin J. Notin
5 years 5 months ago

Well, the name of the site is MLBTradeRUMORS.com, not MLBJustTheFactsAndNothingElse.com

TheBunk
5 years 5 months ago

Crazy, it’s almost like I acknowledged that in the beginning of my post or did I dream that?

NL_East_Rivalry
5 years 5 months ago

This site doesn’t post all rumors. It only posts ones that are reasonable. This hasn’t even been much of a trade rumor, but could bring up a good discussion if there would be a trade centered around Howard. I seriously doubt it would happen, but what would make sense? Howard and Hamels for Pujos?

5 years 5 months ago

As absurd as this rumor is, there is no way that the Phillies trade Hamels in the package. You don’t trade a 20-something year-old lefty with a WS MVP who also has stuff like Hamels has.

WILLIAMDWYER
5 years 5 months ago

If it were EVER to happen, it’ll be Howard plus one of the pitching prospects. Unfortunately it won’t happen, it just won’t

Qabalist
5 years 5 months ago

That’s a bit much. Howard is a great player and aside from last year Hamels has been a pretty good pitcher.

ivdown
5 years 5 months ago

I recall Tim saying in his last chat that he didn’t even put the Mauer trade “rumors” on here because they were so farfetched, but this is put on here? Not that I have a problem with it, I’m just saying.

Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Erroneous!

Largebill
5 years 5 months ago

Not possible. Howard and Utley is the starting point. Include Happ and St. Louis might listen.

cardsdrummer
5 years 5 months ago

Olney just needs to keep to what ESPN pays him to talk about: Yankees and Red Sox. Leave the real baseball reporting to the local beat writers.

5 years 5 months ago

Amen!

5 years 5 months ago

Didn’t the Phils just trade Cliff Lee to save money?

5 years 5 months ago

no they did it to get prospects

5 years 5 months ago

no they did it to get prospects

BaseballFan0707
5 years 5 months ago

They did it more to restock the system after the trade, but also because Lee didn’t give them any indication that he would sign for less than his true value or sign an extension with the Phillies. Of course, once news broke that the Phils were close to getting Halladay, Lee and his agent came running to Amaro with a changed stance.

WILLIAMDWYER
5 years 5 months ago

Plus Puljols has already stated he would love to stay in STL, but will test FA. I doubt PHI would be interested in a rental. So unless they are going to pony up a bigger contract than what A-Rod got. There is no way in HELL Puljols is a PHI at anytime in his career.

Qabalist
5 years 5 months ago

You’re saying the Cardinals will pay that contract or is Pujols going to take a hometown discount?

BaseballFan0707
5 years 5 months ago

They did it more to restock the system after the trade, but also because Lee didn’t give them any indication that he would sign for less than his true value or sign an extension with the Phillies. Of course, once news broke that the Phils were close to getting Halladay, Lee and his agent came running to Amaro with a changed stance.

stackthedeck
5 years 5 months ago

Olney…WTF

Cardsfan387
5 years 5 months ago

Ryan Howard for Albert Pujols would never happen. Why is anyone even wasting any time on this rumor?

WILLIAMDWYER
5 years 5 months ago

Because THIS is what Olney was going for. A conversation of “if’s” and “maybe’s”. It sells every time.

baseballfan3134
5 years 5 months ago

Noo. Buster Olney should be embarrassed to talk about this. 2 words discribes the difference between the players PLATE DISCIPLINE.

cardsdrummer
5 years 5 months ago

Technically SHK66 trading Howard for Pujols would save the Phillies money (in the short term), but STL isn’t dumb enough to even consider this.

fitz
5 years 5 months ago

Ridiculous. Not even sensible.

silverence
5 years 5 months ago

Wow buster olney. wow. There is a better chance of the Phillies and the Cardinals switching cities than there is of pujols for howard.

R_y_a_n
5 years 5 months ago

Olney at his lowest to get some views. Wow.

5 years 5 months ago

Pujols is one of the greatest hitters of our generations. There is no way the Cards would ever do this. Not realistic at all. Only in fantasy, one could hope.

5 years 5 months ago

Obviously not going to happen, but don’t attack Olney, he’s doing his job. Someone told him they were considering offering it and he reported it. Even Olney knows it’s not going to happen. He’s just reporting.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 5 months ago

No, he isn’t doing his job.

Because, I guarantee you, if he would have checked his sources and called up the appropriate people (in this case, Amaro), this story is never reported.

A reporter who does his job reports credible rumors and credible news. This story is neither.

thegrayrace
5 years 5 months ago

Oh come on. Nobody at the top ever comments on such trades until they go down. The only time a GM will respond positively to trade rumors is when it is absolutely known by everyone that the team wants to move them (Milton Bradley, etc.). Trade rumors almost always originate from lower level sources that “hear things” in the front office, and the official response is almost always denial.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 5 months ago

No, he isn’t doing his job.

Because, I guarantee you, if he would have checked his sources and called up the appropriate people (in this case, Amaro), this story is never reported.

A reporter who does his job reports credible rumors and credible news. This story is neither.

Israel Piedra
5 years 5 months ago

One of the stupider things I’ve ever heard… Who could believe this could ever happen??

carlosrooiz
5 years 5 months ago

Hmm…yea, and the Phils will definitely be ready and willing to lay out 15 years/$675 billion for Albert…

It should be interesting though if the Cards let him reach the open market…The Yanks have Texeira long-term and I still expect the Sox to pick up Adrian at some point. So who’s going to pay him $25 mil+ per year? Then again, maybe St Louis will just bid against themselves like they did with Holliday…

Yankees10
5 years 5 months ago

The only way I would do this is if I was the Cardinals is for Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and the Phillies top 3 prospects.

mlbbaseball
5 years 5 months ago

Sounds good to me. But the Cardinals wouldn’t trade Albert for Howard. They are on totally different levels of playing.

Yankees10
5 years 5 months ago

Oh Yeah I know it wont happen, I was just trying to compare how much better Pujols is than Ryan Howard.

philsphan123
5 years 5 months ago

pujols isnt howard and utley good…you are in a fantasy world with that thought. If the cardinals don’t feel that they can sign him, it makes more sense than you think. The phillies shipped cliff lee out of philly because of the same reason. Believe me the phillies would find the cash if this move is pulled off. Not taking this very seriously but calling olney stupid for writing about it is also premature.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 5 months ago

Horrible comparison. Cliff Lee is a great pitcher, but Albert Pujols is more valuable as a hitter than Cliff Lee is as a pitcher. cliff Lee affects a game once every 5 days. Albert Pujols affects about 150/162 games, if one is as pessimistic as humanly possible in terms of how many games he’ll play.

Albert Pujols is an extremely rare talent. The Cardinals will find the money to get him signed long term if they must.

Plus, Cliff Lee was shipped off because a better pitcher came along and signed a below market deal.

damnitsderek
5 years 5 months ago

Actually, Lee got traded to the Phils could replenish their farm system a bit after giving up Carrasco, Donald, Knapp, Marson, D’Arnaud, Taylor, and Drabek all within six months of each other.

damnitsderek
5 years 5 months ago

Actually, Lee got traded to the Phils could replenish their farm system a bit after giving up Carrasco, Donald, Knapp, Marson, D’Arnaud, Taylor, and Drabek all within six months of each other.

alphabet_soup5
5 years 5 months ago

True, but the effect that Albert has on those 150/162 games is much less than the effect Cliff Lee has on his 30 games. Not saying I’d rather have Cliff Lee than Albert Pujols.

PujolsHollidayWestbrook
5 years 5 months ago

Excluding the playoffs, Cliff Lee won 14 games last year and his team won only 15 of his 33 starts. Now he had 13 losses, so that is probably more accurate of his true nature of pitching so I will say that he pitch good enough not to lose 20 games out of 33. You are trying to tell me that Pujols didn’t win/put the team in position to win at least 20 games last year?

thegrayrace
5 years 5 months ago

If you’re going to ask how many games Pujols “put the team in position to win”, you should at least be fair and ask the same of Cliff Lee. He put his team in a position to win in many of the games he pitched which his team lost. He was in Cleveland for the majority of the season, not exactly a top-notch team last year. He pitched an 8 inning shutout which his team lost, and he lost another game going 8.0 innings with 1 ER. There were a few other games he gave up only 1 or 2 runs and his team lost.

For Cliff Lee, out of 34 starts, I see 26 that were quality starts. I’d say that’s a better indication of his value. Though I’m not saying his value is greater than Pujols over the course of a season, he is probably more valuable in the postseason (see 2009 NLDS).

BaseballFan0707
5 years 5 months ago

Horrible comparison. Cliff Lee is a great pitcher, but Albert Pujols is more valuable as a hitter than Cliff Lee is as a pitcher. cliff Lee affects a game once every 5 days. Albert Pujols affects about 150/162 games, if one is as pessimistic as humanly possible in terms of how many games he’ll play.

Albert Pujols is an extremely rare talent. The Cardinals will find the money to get him signed long term if they must.

Plus, Cliff Lee was shipped off because a better pitcher came along and signed a below market deal.

psunate77
5 years 5 months ago

Pujols isn’t Howard and Utley good? Your right, he is by far alot better then both. This guy could go down as one of the best hitters ever by the time he is done.

carlosrooiz
5 years 5 months ago

I realize Pujols deserves a much bigger catch than just Howard, but keep in mind the economics of baseball right now. Utley is signed through 2013 for just $15 million per year which is a steal and he is absolutely not going anywhere. Who knows? Maybe Howard would be willing to sign a deal with the Cards for something like 6 years/$120 million and the Phillies won’t give him that. If St. Louis knows without a doubt they can’t keep Pujols and everyone else knows he wants to max out that lowers his trade value significantly since he’d only be around a year or two, depending on when he was traded. Of course, all things being equal, it would take Howard and a lot more for Pujols.

Andy_B
5 years 5 months ago

Why on earth would the cards trade Howard to pay him 20 million dollars a year instead of signing Pujols to play at 25 million a year? This whole conversation is just dumb.

carlosrooiz
5 years 5 months ago

I realize Pujols deserves a much bigger catch than just Howard, but keep in mind the economics of baseball right now. Utley is signed through 2013 for just $15 million per year which is a steal and he is absolutely not going anywhere. Who knows? Maybe Howard would be willing to sign a deal with the Cards for something like 6 years/$120 million and the Phillies won’t give him that. If St. Louis knows without a doubt they can’t keep Pujols and everyone else knows he wants to max out that lowers his trade value significantly since he’d only be around a year or two, depending on when he was traded. Of course, all things being equal, it would take Howard and a lot more for Pujols.

salaguato
5 years 5 months ago

Pujols is an Amazing player dont get me wrong but howard and utley is way to much for pujols … in fantasy baseball and in real baseball

Yankees10
5 years 5 months ago

No, Pujols is the best player in baseball and one of the best of all time, thats not too much at all.

salaguato
5 years 5 months ago

Pujols is an Amazing player dont get me wrong but howard and utley is way to much for pujols … in fantasy baseball and in real baseball

metsfan189
5 years 5 months ago

if the phils get pujols then they’ll win at least another 2 world series within the next five years

Qabalist
5 years 5 months ago

I think they can do that with the team they have now.