Phillies 2nd all-time HR king signs minor league deal with Braves

According to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, the Braves signed three-time All-Star Ryan Howard to a minor-league deal.

The 37-year-old had his club option declined by the Phillies following the 2016 season pushing Howard into free agency.

Free agency saw a lot of power bats waiting to be signed, so with that element in addition to his age, the first baseman waiting until April to find a home may not be surprising.

His recent numbers certainly didn’t help the scenario either. In 2016, the former MVP and Rookie of the Year slashed just a .196/.257/.453 line with 59 RBI and 25 home runs. His power increased from the previous season, but he was showing many signs of regression, including an increase in strikeouts.

Howard was drafted by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 2001 draft, and that’s where he spent his entire 13-year career until now. He is the second-leading home run king for the Philadelphia franchise, finishing his career in Philly with 382. Mike Schmidt holds the franchise record with 548.

It’s unclear whether or not he will get the promotion to the big league club for the Braves. If that scenario does take place it could be around the August/September call-up months, if at all.