Sunday December 21st, 2014

Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. gave the first public indication the team would like to move first baseman Ryan Howard on Friday.

Speaking to 97.5 The Fanatic, Amaro said the team has discussed options with Howard, who is due $60 million in guaranteed money over the next three seasons.

"We've talked to Ryan," Amaro said, according to The Score. "And I told him that in our situation it would probably bode better for the organization not with him but without him. With that said if he's with us, then we'll work around him."

Amaro did say the team won't release Howard, calling him "too productive and too important a player."

Jimmy Rollins bats leadoff one more time for the Phillies

Howard, 35, appeared in 153 games last season, his first with more than 80 since 2011 and his most since 2009. The 2006 NL MVP hit .223, however, and led the league with 190 strikeouts. He did hit 23 home runs and 95 RBI.

Howard is due $25 million in each of the next two seasons with a $10 million buyout after 2016.

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The Phillies would benefit by trading Howard sooner rather than later, as reports Howard has a no-trade clause limited to 20 teams that will grow to cover every team when his full 10-and-5 rights kick in this May.

- Mike Fiammetta

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