The Washington Nationals placed several players on revocable trade waivers last week, and Bryce Harper was one of them. Not surprisingly, the star outfielder was claimed by a team.
Chelsea Janes and Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post report that Harper and teammates Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams were claimed. The Nationals were informed of the claims on Sunday, meaning they have until Tuesday afternoon — the standard 48-hour window — to work out a trade with the claiming team.
Simply put, it would be a surprise if Harper went anywhere. Since Harper was claimed, all that means is the Nationals are not free to work out a trade with any team they please. They can only negotiate with the team that claimed the 25-year-old, or they can simply pull Harper back and move on with their season.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic previously speculated that the Nationals were placing Harper on waivers to give themselves options, as they have been fading from playoff contention and chose not to be sellers at the July 31 non-waiver deadline. In theory, they could trade Harper to a team and get something in return for him now and then still try to sign him as a free agent this winter, but that seems unlikely to happen.
Judging by what he recently said about Washington’s place in the standings, Harper is not ready to give up on the 2018 season. The last thing the Nationals want to do is risk irritating him by trading him with less than two months remaining in the season.