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Former Philadelphia Phillies 1B Ryan Howard signs minor league deal with Atlanta Braves

By The Sports Xchange
Former Philadelphia Phillies 1B Ryan Howard signs minor league deal with Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia Phillies Ryan Howard watches his three run home run leave the park against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fourth inning at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on May 4, 2016. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

The Atlanta Braves signed former Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard to a minor league contract, the team announced Thursday.

The Braves said Howard will report to extended spring training next week at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., before likely joining Triple-A Gwinnett.

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Howard spent 13 seasons with the Phillies before the club used a $10 million buyout on his contract in the offseason. The 37-year-old shared the team lead in homers with 25 last season, but also batted a career-worst .196.

Howard enjoyed his best season in the City of Brotherly Love in 2006, when he set career highs in homers (58), RBIs (149) and batting average (.313) en route to being named the National League Most Valuable Player.

Howard also set the tone in the 2008 World Series, launching three homers as Philadelphia dispatched the Tampa Bay Rays in five games.

His 382 homers rank second on the Phillies' all-time list, behind Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt. Howard has also collected 1,194 RBIs and batted .258 with Philadelphia.

Howard hit 30 or more homers and drove in more than 100 runs in six straight seasons from 2006-11.

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