The Washington Nationals have all but conceded that they may wind up doing some selling before Tuesday’s trade deadline thanks to their shockingly poor first four months of the season. They’re 7.0 games out in the NL East, behind two teams, and stand at an even .500. Perhaps if they win a couple more this weekend, that’ll be just enough to keep them in the race. But if they don’t …
Here’s a “wow” report to consider if the Nationals do decide to pull the plug and sell:
— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) July 27, 2018
For reasons that should be obvious by now, I do not see the Cubs as suitors for Bryce Harper if he’s traded in the next few days. Adding him would require some serious roster coordination, the kind you just wouldn’t see in the final two months of the season. The Cubs are set on the positional side. Be grateful.
But if the Dodgers – or another NL contender – gets Harper, well, then, there’s an obvious potential future impact on the Cubs. The dang Dodgers already landed Manny Machado, so adding Harper to their loaded roster would make them all the more potent in the postseason.
There’s also the future free agency factor. Unlike with Machado, who doesn’t have an obvious spot on the Dodgers with Corey Seager and Justin Turner on the left side of the infield (not that that would necessarily stop the Dodgers, but, hey, there will be other bidders, too), it’s always easy enough to create an open spot in the outfield for a Bryce Harper. Heck, the Cubs have at least as crowded an outfield as the Dodgers and we still want to see the Cubs go after Harper in free agency. A 26-year-old generational talent becomes available for money only, and you gotta take your swing. Figure out the rest later.
But if the Dodgers were to trade for Harper, and get a couple months to show him what it’s like in sunny L.A., then maybe when free agency rolls around, he’s a little more receptive to their pitch, especially given the city’s relative proximity to his home in Las Vegas.