Bryce Harper almost came West this week.
The Washington Nationals had placed Harper on the revocable trade waiver wire, but immediately after the Los Angeles Dodgers had claimed him, the Nationals decided that they didn’t want to part ways and will now keep him for the rest of the season.
A revocable trade waiver allows a team to place a player on waivers and to negotiate trades offers after the July 31 trade deadline, but also allows the team to remove a player from the waiver for any reason that they choose.
The move by the Nationals to put their star on the market shows that the team is willing to part ways with the former No. 1 overall pick, and also that they’ve thrown in the towel for the season. With the team sitting at 63-63 as of Wednesday and having also trading away Daniel Murphy, the Nationals must feel that they’re season is over and that they must try to get as much for Harper as possible through a trade.
But an offer was never made.
Immediately after Harper was claimed, the Nationals pulled him back. Perhaps they knew that the Dodgers didn’t have enough assets to claim the outfielder, so there was no use in negotiating.
This is because many believe the Dodgers were mainly claiming Harper to prevent any other team from acquiring him.
The Los Angeles #Dodgers were indeed the team who claimed Bryce Harper, but the Washington #Nats pulled him back, knowing they can at least get a first-round draft pick for him this winter. They were NEVER close to trading him to LA.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 21, 2018
If that was the case, then it was a smart move by Los Angeles.
With the Dodgers fighting for a playoff spot, it would make sense for them to block any chance of Harper going to a team that he more likely prefers, such as Philadelphia or Colorado.
Harper is to become a free agent at the end of this season.