Phillies Officially End Relationship With Ryan Howard - uSports.org

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MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 22: Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies grounds out against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on April 22, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Phillies Officially End Relationship With Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard’s 15-year tenure with the Philadelphia Phillies officially ended Thursday when the team declined a $23 million option and the first baseman became a free agent.

Phillies Officially End Relationship With Ryan Howard

The Phillies will instead pay Howard, who will be 37 later this month, a $10 million sum to buy out the 2017 option.


The team also declined a $9.5 million option on Charlie Morton, a right-handed starter who pitched in just four games for the Phillies before tearing a hamstring in April. Morton received a $1 million payment for his buyout.

Five other Phillies (Jeremy Hellickson, David Hernandez, A.J. Ellis, Andres Blanco, and Peter Bourjos) became free agents Thursday and can sign with any team beginning Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. The removal of the seven free agents, in addition to the reinstatement of pitchers Aaron Nola, Zach Eflin, and Matt Harrison from the 60-day disabled list, put the Phillies’ 40-man roster at 31 players.

Philadelphia is expected to extend Hellickson a $17.2 million qualifying offer by Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline. Hellickson will probably decline that offer in order to pursue a long-term deal. The Phillies would then receive a compensatory drat pick between the first and second rounds if Hellickson signs elsewhere.

Even at 31 players, the Phillies may need to make further room to protect minor-league players eligible for the Rule 5 draft and for potential additions through free agency. Protection decisions must be made by Nov. 18.

Howard said he intends to play again in 2017.

MILWAUKEE, WI – APRIL 22: Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies grounds out against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on April 22, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

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Written by Pablo Mena

Writer and assistant editor for usports.org. NY Giants and Rangers fan. Film and TV enthusiast (especially Harry Potter and The Office) and lover of foreign languages and cultures.