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Three American League contenders among possible landing spots for Ryan Howard

The Rays, Royals and Orioles all could be in the mix to land the Phillies slugger.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is doing nothing to hurt his trade value so far in 2015, hitting .256/.298/.519 with 10 home runs in his first 44 games. If and when Philadelphia decides to move him, there should be plenty of suitors, with three American League contenders among the, reports CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.

Despite a record of just 24-24, the Tampa Bay Rays are just a game out of first place in the AL East. If the Rays were to acquire Howard, however, the Phillies would need to pay a very healthy portion of his salary. That said, the Rays did have interest in Howard before acquiring John Jaso in the offseason.

Since then, they have gotten just a .694 OPS from their first basemen in 2015 and have lost regular starter James Loney to injury. With Loney out, the Rays are using the light-hitting Logan Forsythe at first base and could definitely use Howard's power at the position.

Another AL East team that could be a destination for Howard is the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles are currently 22-24, just a game behind Tampa Bay. Baltimore lost 40 home runs from its lineup with the departure of Nelson Cruz that were never really replaced. However, the Orioles do have a pair of sluggers that can play first base in lefty Chris Davis and righty Steve Pearce, so Howard would likely wind up as a designated hitter in Baltimore.

Finally, the Royals had discussed trading for Howard before signing Kendrys Morales to a two-year, $17 million contract in the offseason. With Morales hitting .306/.364/.489 and Eric Hosmer hitting .303/.375/.506, Kansas City is an unlikely landing destination for Howard at this point.

The Cardinals, Angels, Tigers, Astros and Mariners are among the other teams that could be in the mix for Howard, according to Heyman.