At least one Pennsylvania baseball team seems to want Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard on its roster.
The York Revolution have launched a campaign to raise $10 million from their fans in a (very) tongue-in-cheek effort to acquire Howard. The Revolution are part of the independent Atlantic League, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball.
Howard, the National League Rookie of the Year in 2006 and NL MVP in 2007, is due $60 million for the remainder of his contract, which runs through the 2016 season. The 35-year-old, who led MLB in home runs twice and in RBIs three times, has declined following an Achilles injury sustained during the 2011 playoffs. Recent reports say the Phillies are willing to eat up to $50 million in order to unload Howard.
Enter the Revolution.
An Atlantic League maximum salary is around $3,000 per month, according to a Revolution press release, so the team is asking its fans to foot the rest of the tab.
"If there are roughly 400,000 people living in York County, we only need $25 from each of them to have the funds necessary to put Ryan Howard in a Revolution uniform," York GM John Gibson said in the press release. "Some dads might have to dock a kid's allowance for a couple weeks, big deal."
Each fan that donates at least $10 is provided two complimentary ticket vouchers to the team's Opening Night game in York on April 24 against the Long Island Ducks.
If York fails to raise $10 million - or the Phillies decline to deal Howard to York - the Revolution is donating 83 percent of funds raised to Penn-Mar Human Services, an organization that provides support services to individuals with disabilities.
Interest in Howard among other MLB teams has been lukewarm at best. And given the recent woes of the Phillies, they may want to take the Revolution's offer seriously.