Astros Nearly Pulled Off Trade for Bryce Harper Before July Deadline

Carrie Guzman
November 14, 2018

The 2015 National League MVP now is a free agent and has stayed quiet on whether he will remain with the Washington Nationals or sign elsewhere.

The Athletic did speculate that ownership might have feared a deal would hurt the relationship between the sides.

Nationals ownership nixed a trade near the deadline that would have sent Bryce Harper to the Astros for a package of prospects, The Athletic reports. Catcher Garrett Stubbs, the team's No. 15 prospect, was in play, and the Nationals would have received another, low-level, minor-league pitcher as well.

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Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals reacts after hitting a single in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. Or maybe things would have worked out just the same. Harper was the first overall pick of the Nationals in 2010, and the team, according to the Washington Post, offered him a 10-year deal worth approximately $300 million late this past season - a clear sign it wants him to remain in Washington.

That haul would've provided much more value to Washington than their current compensation should Harper reject their qualifying offer and sign elsewhere, which is a pick after the fourth round of the 2019 MLB Draft. Ownership's refusal to allow him to be traded indicates that they'd prefer to have him around in the future.

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