ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Phillies and Cardinals may have had discussions about a swap that would send the greatest player in the game, Albert Pujols, to Philadelphia in exchange for St. Louis native Ryan Howard.
The Phillies deny that they have even kicked the idea around in their front office. But Olney speculates the Cardinals might decide to deal Albert if they think they can't re-sign him. And who better to get in return than another slugging first baseman who just happens to be a hometown hero?
The bottom line is that Howard, while he is a very good player, isn't very comparable to Pujols. So why would the Cardinals want to pay him $22 million or more a season when they could pay Albert $27 million or so a season and get so much more bang for their buck.
Here is a snapshot of their career stats. Not that Pujols has nine seasons under his belt, while he is slightly younger than Howard who has played six years.
Pujols: .334BA, 366HR, .427OBP, .628SLP
Howard: .279BA, 222HR, .376OBP, .586SLP
I wouldn't like this deal at all. It would be the most shocking Cardinals trade since they dealt MVP Rogers Hornsby for Frank Frisch in a contract dispute. Frisch turned out to be a pretty good player for St. Louis while Hornsby's best years were rapidly nearing an end. But owner Sam Breadon needed round the clock security to save him from the outraged masses.