One, the 34-year-old is being paid $125 million over five seasons. Not only has he not performed, but he's also handcuffed the Phillies financially.
And two, the Phils have declined right along with their injury-riddled slugger. They're no longer running the NL East. In fact, they haven't even contended since they last won the division in 2011.
But lost in the mess is the impeded progress of the organization's youngsters.
Darin Ruf, the 2012 Paul Owens Award winner for best player in the Phillies' farm system, clubbed a minor-league leading 38 home runs that season at Double A Reading. Since, the Phils have tried turning the natural first baseman into an outfielder, where he's fluttered between left and right field.
The move has reinforced the notion that Howard's at first base and there's no real moving him.
Now the Phillies have a good predicament at third base. Cody Asche, 23, and Maikel Franco, 21, both look primed for promising careers, but both play the hot corner. Because of it, the Phils are attempting to try Franco at first base, but they don’t seem fully committed.
"He's a third baseman," GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said on Jan. 16. "He may get some work at first base, but he's primarily a third baseman."
Sure, the Phillies may want Franco to develop at his natural position, but having Howard firmly planted at first base likely has a say in why Franco may not transition into a first baseman.
Furthermore, Asche was even discussed about playing some outfield last season as well. That's to potentially open a spot for Franco down the road.
Now all this just amplifies the pressure even more for a finally healthy Howard to rebound — and he certainly could.
But still: Three prospects, three talks or attempts at position changes.