JP Howell rumors: Phillies, Mariners, Cubs, Nationals, Rangers

Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Five clubs are interested in the left-handed reliever.

There are five teams who are currently interested in left-handed reliever J.P. Howell, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com. Those teams are the Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals and Texas Rangers.

Last month it was reported that "a handful" of teams were calling on the 29-year-old, so his market has remained strong over the last few weeks. The Los Angeles Angels were reported to be in on Howell as part of the handful last month, but they have since signed fellow lefty Sean Burnett to a two-year deal. The Milwaukee Brewers might also be in on Howell, who has also expressed a desire to return to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Howell missed 2010 after shoulder surgery and has struggled to get back to the excellent form he showed from 2008 until then. He was a vital part of the 2008 team that went to the World Series.

In 2012 Howell performed well, posting a 3.04 ERA and 7.5 K/9 rate to get his value up for his first time ever as a free agent. His high home run numbers the last two seasons may cause teams to be hesitant in pulling the trigger on a deal, but he should end up getting a decent deal wherever he ends up.

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