Trade Bryce Harper? Nationals reportedly listening to offers

Scott Halleran  Getty Images

Scott Halleran Getty Images

Harper is hitting just.220 this season, but has smashed 25 home runs with 62 RBIs.

It's still a long shot Harper gets traded before Tuesday's trade deadline, but the Nationals are willing to sell and that was always the first hurdle.

At least one team has already reached out to the Nationals regarding a possible trade for Harper: the Cleveland Indians.

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However, Nats GM Mike Rizzo held a press conference on Tuesday morning saying the team is not trading Harper.

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. He's a career.277 hitter with six all-star appearances in seven seasons.

One report suggests that the Nationals have done more than just make Harper available, too. Washington could conceivably pull off the same feat the Yankees managed two summers ago when they traded Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs, then signed him again in free agency four months later. Whatever they do by 4 p.m. No, this is about the Nationals becoming - without Harper - a better team. Eastern, the Nationals will be 5 1/2 games back in the National League East when they begin play with the New York Mets this evening, a surmountable deficit they could still eclipse. That said, ownership does, you know, own the thing, and they have a different set of priorities sometimes.

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