It’s the rumor I’ve wanted all week, and now it’s here: the Nationals are legitimately shopping super rental, Bryce Harper.
According to a source, the Nationals are making it known to other teams that Bryce Harper is indeed available.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 31, 2018
To be sure, as much as I love Harper, I don’t think he’s at all a fit for the Cubs right now. After the season, when the roster can be better coordinated, sure. Of course. Generational talent at age 26 for only money? Go after it. Right now, though? Another outfielder? For a STEEP price? Nah.
So my excitement here is not Cubs-tied. Instead it’s just really fun to see a huge name on the trade market at this late hour of the trade season. Where could he go? What would the return be? How could he totally re-shape a playoff race? This is going to be very fun to follow.
As for direct Cubs impacts here, I’m not sure I see them too much, even beyond the Cubs likely not being in on him. The Brewers also have a crowded outfield, and likely should direct their resources elsewhere. I don’t see the Pirates going for a pricey rental. So, at most, you’d be looking at Wild Card contenders, and hopefully the Cubs won’t be in that race. My head is spinning a bit.
UPDATE: A little more on his availability:
Sources confirm: #Nationals sending “feelers” out on Bryce Harper. “I’d be shocked if they do it,” one rival exec says. “They’re seeing if someone wants to go crazy.” First with the news that Harper was available: @chelsea_janes and @Feinsand.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2018
On the Nationals at the deadline, including the continued sense that they’ll listen on Harper. https://t.co/5kVubrhKZu
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 31, 2018
It should be noted that if the Nationals are even considering dealing Harper, it does tend to suggest they don’t feel great about their chances of re-signing him in free agency.