Trading Ryan Howard for Albert Pujols

by Eric Schwartz

The very nature of the idea is straight out of a video game. Trading one superstar for another? It just doesn’t happen in professional sports.

Yet according to sources the Phillies have kicked around the idea of looking into a deal with St. Louis that would send Ryan Howard to the Cardinals for Albert Pujols in what would be the biggest trade in baseball history. The report, which can be read on includes a denial by Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro who said, “That’s a lie. I don’t know who you’re talking to, but that’s a lie.”

To be clear, this deal would never happen. You could line up all the reasons why it would be feasible — including Pujols’ impending free agency next year and St. Louis being Howard’s hometown — but you would be wasting your time.

These things just don’t happen. But it is fun to talk about.

So would you make the move?

They both are the same age, Howard a couple months older, play the same position and are on the fast track to the Hall of Fame. While Howard has emerged as the greatest power hitter in the game, Pujols is widely regarded as the best player in baseball. Both players have are loved by their hometown fans and neither has been linked to performance enhancing drugs.

There is no right answer with this one as you couldn’t go wrong with either player.

But who would you rather have?

Filed Under Phillies


12 Responses to “Trading Ryan Howard for Albert Pujols”

  1. anon on March 14th, 2010 6:31 pm

    if you add Cole Hamels to the trade, it gets more interesting. Cards get 2 years under contract for Howard *and* Hamels, with at least some chance of resigning either or both, versus 2 years of Pujols being the best player in the majors but definitely leaving afterwards.

    Howard is not as good as Pujols, but he is still amazing, provides left-handed power (of which Cards currently have zero) and general balance in the lineup. Hamels provides Cards only left-hander starter, and is an upgrade to the rotation even if he is mediocre and settles into the back of the rotation. But of course there is upside potential that he shakes off a down year and returns as an ace.

    Phils, of course, get the best player of a generation — and as a bonus, his right-handedness helps balance the lineup. Maybe they can take back Brad Penny or their old friend Kyle Lohse to plug into their own rotation…

    This doesn’t seem totally insane to me if Philly balances the deal with a serious starting-pitching upgrade for St. Louis.

  2. joseph birmingham on March 14th, 2010 8:00 pm

    I think when all is said and done, Howard will have more of an impact as a player then Pujols. The Phillies will win twice as many World Series with Ryan than the Cardinals will with Albert. And since Philly teams have a track record of trading superstars to go win elsewhere (remember Reggie ?) the team would be retarded to go for this deal, as good as Pujols is, keep the proven star who started here and let him finish here and create the first baseball dynasty in Philadelphia. This team was the first professional team EVER to lose 10,000 games largely due to management decisions like the proposed one rumored here.

  3. Silver and Green on March 14th, 2010 8:10 pm

    Pujols is a stud and I would love to see him in Philly. That said, I would miss seeing all the blasts by Howard. This really would be a tough call. I think I would keep Howard since he has become the face of the city.
    But can’t we have both? haha

  4. BigGreek24 on March 15th, 2010 2:26 pm

    Pujols is a much, much better overall hitter than Howard and he plays much better defense. Winning World Series is about more than what one player can do, and in Albert’s defense the Cardinals did win a World Series before the Phillies did. If the Phillies did that deal one for one, and I’m a huge fan of Ryan’s, they would be clocking the Cardinals to the same degree as when they got Steve Carlton for Rick Wise. Unless something drastic occurs, Pujols is headed for the Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown while Howard is headed for Ashburn Alley – he simply started his big league career too late – he’s already 30 and only has 4 full seasons in.

  5. Ryan on March 15th, 2010 3:53 pm

    wow you don’t think Howard is a HOFer. I’m gonna have to disagree with ya on that one.

  6. Eric Schwartz on March 15th, 2010 4:55 pm

    I would say that Howard is on the track to the Hall of Fame. He is not as close to that honor as Pujols, but he has given no indications that he will be slowing down on his power numbers anytime soon. If he can avoid injuries there is no reason to believe he won’t rack up another MVP or two and average 40 home runs for the next eight years.

  7. Joseph Birmingham on March 15th, 2010 5:25 pm

    Howard is a HOFer and if you read my current By The Numbers post, you will see he is also on track to break 8 of the 12 Phillies team offensive records before his 38th birthday, which would make him the greatest Phillie all time. If that doesn’t get him in to the Hall, better get Carlton, Schmidt, Collins, Delahanty, Bancroft, and Thompson out of there !!

  8. Joseph Birmingham on March 15th, 2010 5:31 pm

    And BigGreek, MUCH BETTER defense ?? .992 to .990, I would call that SLIGHTLY better. Also average per season in HR and RBI is Howards, Pujols just played longer, and I grant you, has better BA with fewer strikeouts, but these guys are not that far apart statistically.

  9. BigGreek24 on March 15th, 2010 10:19 pm

    Pujols is a perennial Gold Glove fielder while Howard right now is average at best. As for Howard’s numbers, your study doesn’t account for the slowdown that usually occurs around 35 or so – I don’t think he’ll break Schmidt’s team record of 548 career homers – I dont think he will hit 500. To have the longevity for a HOF career (15 years or so) Ryan would have to be playing at a high level up until he’s 40, and I don’t see it happening.

  10. BigGreek24 on March 15th, 2010 10:23 pm

    And statistically Pujols OPS for his career is 1.055, Howard’s is .961. Howard has had just one year over 1.000 while Pujols has had just one year below 1.000. Sorry, but you need to put down the Phillies glasses for a moment, or just read any Fantasy Baseball publication or even Baseball Prospectus. Pujols is routinely rated as the number 1 player in baseball, and he is given that distinction for a reason.

  11. joseph birmingham on March 15th, 2010 11:43 pm

    Pujols is rated #1 because he IS #1, but what I am saying is that Howard is statistically right on his heels. And he can play to 38-40 because of how late he started his career, he doesnt have the miles that a Griffey Jr or Pujols has on him at age 35. Give me 6-7 years and THEN say I told you so if you are right. But keep Howard, because if you trade him, he will go somewhere else and kick ass for a decade, if you put on your Philadelphia glasses with me, you will see how this scenario has actually happened half a dozen times in our cities history. I for one, am getting tired of watching it happen.

  12. HARVEY DAVIS on March 18th, 2010 7:57 pm


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