5 Major Questions for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2016

Chicago Cubs v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Two

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1.) What is the status of Ryan Howard?

Ryan Howard is the recipient of a boatload of criticism. Most of it is deserved, but some of it really isn’t. People tend to criticize his production level, which isn’t much of an issue. His production has been a major issue, ever since he signed that five-year, $125 million contract in 2011. That contract however, wasn’t his fault. Blame for that falls on Reuben Amaro Jr.

Howard has been the subject of many trade rumors, dating back to last winter. The Phillies have failed to find a taker, despite offering to eat about half, in some cases more than half of his contract. There’s even been talks of his contract being bought out last winter, which obviously didn’t happen. Needless to say, the Phillies desperately want to get this contract off of the books. Whether that’s by trade, or by buying him out of his contract, Howard is wanted out of Philadelphia

As if Howard’s situation wasn’t gummy enough, a report from Al Jazeera America back in December, linked Howard as one of many athletes to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Howard and his attorney have both vehemently denied the claims, as expected.  Nonetheless, Major League Baseball is still opening up an investigation into the slugger.  While the result of the pending investigation is unclear, the claim itself makes the Phillies ability to move Howard a lot more difficult, almost impossible.

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