Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post reports that one Major League Baseball team heard that the Nationals had a Bryce Harper trade "lined up", but the ownership pulled the plug.
MLB's Mark Feinsand says the Nationals have not committed to a trade but they are apparently willing to listen to offers.
The Nationals would nearly certainly have wanted any suitor's offer to include relieving them of the remainder of Harper's $21.63 million salary for 2018.
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The Washington Nationals have a decision to make, and they have just a few hours to make it.
Harper is hitting just.220 this season but has 25 homers and 62 RBI's. He also told ESPN's Buster Olney that Harper will not be dealt.
In other words, it may not be that the front office "believe [s] in this team", it may instead be that ownership stepped in and forced their hand. The Nationals might not see a reason to tie up so much money in Harper when Robles, Soto, Eaton and Taylor are under team control for the foreseeable future. Rizzo can't simply get his deal in place and pull the trigger.
They have until 4 p.m. If any team wants to push all-in with its chips to chase a World Series title this year, at least they now know for sure who to call.