Last week, an anonymous league general manager told Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports that he believes the Philadelphia Phillies will ultimately land Bryce Harper this offseason. They’ll have to wait until at least then to get a crack at the six-time All-Star.
Though the Nationals placed the 2015 National League MVP on revocable waivers earlier this week, Heyman says that waiver period on Harper has expired, meaning he will finish the 2018 campaign with the Nationals.
It doesn’t appear the Phillies even got a chance to make a waiver claim on Harper – which they almost certainly would have done – as Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan says that the Los Angeles Dodgers were the team that claimed the 25-year-old. The Dodgers, despite acquiring Manny Machado before the non-waiver trade deadline, are 67-59, worse than the Phillies 68-56 record. That means they got a chance to claim Harper before the Phillies could. Once a player is claimed on revocable waivers, the team that currently employs the player (the Nationals in this case) gets the chance to pull back the player and negotiate a trade only with the team that claimed the player. It appears that the Nationals and Dodgers weren’t able to facilitate a trade.
So even though the Nationals essentially waived the white flag Tuesday by trading Daniel Murphy to the Chicago Cubs and Matt Adams to the St. Louis Cardinals, they left the door open for Harper to lead them on an improbable comeback in the National League playoff race. Not trading him to another team probably increases their chances of re-signing Harper this offseason, and at the very least, assures they will receive draft compensation if he leaves Washington in free-agency.
The Phillies will begin a three-game series against the Nationals at Nationals Park Tuesday. The Nationals are currently seven-and-a-half games out of the National League East leading Atlanta Braves, while the Phillies are just a game back. Meanwhile, the Phillies are in a three-way tie with the Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals for the National League’s second Wild Card spot. The Nationals are six-and-a-half games out of the second Wild Card spot. The Phillies would seem to have a chance to bury the Nationals playoff hopes in this week’s series.
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