Ryan Howard speculation

Speculation that the Rays might be interested in Ryan Howard continues, though I can’t see much logic in such a move taking place.

Howard, who lives in the Tampa Bay area, is still owed $60 million.  Would the Phillies eat most of that to move the once-great slugger?

Next, the Rays just acquired John Jaso in the deal that sent Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar to the Athletics.  Based on the fact that the Rays’ intentions for Jaso primarily deal with his offense, and not catching, adding Howard would seem to be redundant.

Finally, the Rays have had little success bringing in DH candidates in the past.  And that’s what Howard would be with the Rays, a DH candidate.

Matt Silverman, Rays president, baseball operations, does not address specific players, but when asked during the Winter Meetings about the prospect of the Rays acquiring a DH, he chuckled: “Given how successful we’ve been in selecting DH’s in the past, it’s somewhat of a dangerous proposition.”

Pat Burrell and Luke Scott both signed with the Rays to be DHs and neither performed up to expectations.

Last season, the Rays did not have a true DH, prompting Silverman to be asked if they planned on doing the same in 2015.

“Given our roster and especially its versatility, it lends itself to using every spot for players who can also play in the field,” said Silverman at the Winter Meetings. “It doesn’t mean we won’t go after a pure DH. But I think our roster function’s better when we’re using that DH spot for a variety of players given the way we like to match up against pitchers.”

–Bill Chastain

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