I know I said earlier that I wasn't going to devote too much attention to the Ryan Howard/Albert Pujols talk. But Buster Olney, who wrote the story for ESPN yesterday, appeared on Philly sports talk station 97.5 The Fanatic earlier today. And because Amaro has labelled the story "irresponsible," Olney should at least get his say.
Olney said that he "absolutely" stands by his story, but also empathizes with Amaro, who does not want his star player thinking that he is on the trading block.
"I understand kind of where he's at in this story," Olney told the radio station. "He's got Ryan Howard on his team, and to be clear, I never wrote in the story that they were in active discussions, I never said the trade was close, I just said they had internal discussions about Albert Pujols, the best player in the game, and quite frankly, if they're not having that conversation, they are probably not doing their jobs."
Regardless of whether the front office has ever discussed Pujols, the question is how serious those conversations were. As I noted earlier, such a deal would make zero sense for the Cardinals at this point.
On the other hand, it can't hurt the Phillies to have the seed planted in Pujols' mind that they might have some interest him. It certainly didn't hurt when it came to the Roy Halladay situation. The question, of course, is whether the benefit of Pujols' thinking that the Phillies might have some interest in him outweighs the consequences of Ryan Howard thinking that the Phillies might have some interest in trading him.