Nationals keeping Bryce Harper despite reported Dodgers trade waiver claim
It appears the impending free-agent slugger will be staying put in D.C.
The Nationals on Tuesday took advantage of the August waiver period and parted ways with second baseman Daniel Murphy with the Cubs and first baseman/outfielder Matt Adams, by the Cardinals. The teardown, however, apparently won't involve superstar outfielder and pending free agent Bryce Harper.
Jon Heyman tweets that waivers have expired on Harper and that he'll be staying with the Washington. Now here's this tantalizing detail regarding that waiver process:
The Dodgers have long been linked to having interest in Harper as a potential target this offseason, and getting a jump on the "recruiting" process while also fortifying a contending roster for the stretch drive certainly makes sense. It didn't come to pass, though.
Harper's overall numbers in his age-25 season are quite good -- 30 home runs and a 132 OPS+ entering play on Tuesday -- and he's been among baseball's hottest hitters in the second half. There's no doubt that even as a six-week rental plus the postseason, Harper could move the needle for a contender. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, however, has apparently opted to keep him in the fold despite the fact that the 2018 season is looking like a lost one in Washington. The Nationals, according to most accounts, want to make a bid to re-sign Harper, so perhaps not trading him and forcing those upheavals upon him is a way to curry a bit of favor on that front. Regarding that ...
The use of the word "fear" obviously implies that Harper didn't want to be traded, even if it meant a good shot at playoff baseball. So perhaps the Nats' decision to keep him will turn out to be a wise one.
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