The Indians and Nationals had discussions about a potential trade centered on superstar outfielder Bryce Harper, reports MLB.com. Negotiations had “yet to gather momentum,” however, and a deal was already looking unlikely when Nationals GM Mike Rizzo shot down any chance of a Harper deal Tuesday morning.
Mike Rizzo just reached out with this message:— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 31, 2018
"Bryce is not going anywhere. I believe in this team."
Harper, 25, has become one of the biggest names in baseball since the Nationals picked him first overall in the 2010 draft. He won 2015 NL MVP with a monster season and has been named to the NL All-Star team six times.
This season, Harper is second in the NL with 25 home runs and leads the league with 84 walks. It hasn’t been all rainbows and roses, though: the outfielder is batting just .220 and posted poor defensive statistics, so he’s provided just 0.4 wins above replacement this season, per Baseball-Reference.
The Nationals are third in the NL East with a 52-53 record, but they’re just 5.5 games out of first place in a division without a standout club. If Harper and his teammates get hot in the next two months, the playoffs are still within reach.