The Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, and Bryce Harper remains a Washington National.
While it never appeared as though the Nats were aggressively shopping the superstar outfielder, Washington reportedly notified teams that Harper was available as the deadline neared.
The level of interest Harper generated as a trade target is unknown, but one team reportedly did a little more than just kick the tires on the six-time All-Star.
“Multiple sources told The Athletic that the Indians were in deep conversations with Washington about Bryce Harper before the Nationals pulled back the FOR SALE sign,” Jayson Stark writes. “And while there?s almost no scenario where the Indians can revisit that option as a waiver deal, they?ll still be shopping for another bat.”
The Indians apparently had been tracking Harper for some time, as Cleveland reportedly checked in with the Nationals about the 25-year-old even before they allegedly made him available. Considering how the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros have looked all season, it makes sense why the Indians looked into a move that undoubtedly would have shaken up the American League.
That said, Washington’s asking price for Harper must have been through the roof, which likely turned teams off given his impending free agency. The Indians have the prospects to make a blockbuster deal, but they’ll be able to make a run at Harper this winter without potentially ravaging their farm system.