According to the report, that sum could reach as much as $50 million.
Howard, 35, is owed $25 million in each of the next two seasons, with a $23 million club option for 2017. He also has a $10 million buyout in 2017, so Philadelphia is on the hook for at least $60 million to Howard.
Howard hit .223 with 23 home runs and 95 RBIs in 153 games last season and led the major leagues with 190 strikeouts. He also had career-lows in slugging and OPS.
Trading the 2006 National League MVP and five-time All-Star could be difficult, as he has a no-trade clause blocking deals to at least 20 teams.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said during a radio interview in December that he told Howard "that in [the team's] situation it would probably bode better for the organization not with him but without him.” That led to trade rumors and to Amaro apologizing to Howard for his comments.
Philadelphia finished last in the NL East in 2014 with a 73-89 record and has missed the playoffs in each of the past three seasons.
Howard is a career .265 hitter with 334 home runs and 1,058 RBIs and has struck out 1,591 times in 10 MLB seasons.
- Scooby Axson