The Dodgers reportedly claimed Bryce Harper off revocable trade waivers on Tuesday, but the claim has expired and the former National League MVP Award winner will stay with the Nationals, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.Added Harper on Tuesday: "I had no fear of being traded."
Los Angeles had
The Dodgers reportedly claimed Bryce Harper off revocable trade waivers on Tuesday, but the claim has expired and the former National League MVP Award winner will stay with the Nationals, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.
Added Harper on Tuesday: "I had no fear of being traded."
Los Angeles had been linked to Harper when he was reportedly made available ahead of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, and it made arguably the biggest splash of the trade season by acquiring star shortstop Manny Machado from the Orioles on July 18.
The Nationals had 48 hours to either work out a standard trade with the claiming club -- in this case, the Dodgers, who were first reported as the claiming team by Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan in Washington -- or allow Harper to simply leave for nothing in return.
• Trade Waivers & Aug. 31 'Deadline'
According to the Washington Post, Mark Reynolds, Matt Wieters and Giovany Gonzalez were also placed on revocable waivers.
After Harper was said to be available the night before the non-waiver Deadline, Rizzo said the next morning that Harper wouldn't be moved, saying "Bryce is not going anywhere. I believe in this team."
On Tuesday, Rizzo echoed the conviction he had in the decision not to sell three weeks ago.
"We took a chance at the first [non-waiver] Trade Deadline and held tight with the belief that that was our best way to compete," Rizzo said. "We kept almost our entire roster intact. I still think that today we have the talent base on this team to play competitive games at the end of the season, realizing I know what the standings say and what the calendar says, but the talent level in that locker room is still great."
In order to be eligible for a postseason roster, a player traded must be acquired by his team no later than Aug. 31. It's not uncommon for high-profile players to be placed on waivers at this time of year. In fact, most clubs will place a sizable portion of their Major League roster on waivers to gauge interest for their talent ahead of the offseason.
At 33 years old, with his free agency looming and in a season that has been shortened by his recovery from right knee surgery last offseason, Daniel Murphy, who was placed on revocable waivers on Friday, was the more logical chip to move. He was sent to the Cubs for Minor League infielder Andruw Monasterio and a player to be named or cash considerations on Tuesday.
First baseman/outfielder Matt Adams also fit that bill as a valuable commodity off the bench in the postseason, particularly with a distinct platoon advantage. The Cardinals reacquired Adams on Tuesday for cash considerations.
"These are tough decisions," Rizzo said. "To trade an ultiamte professional like Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams is never easy, but we feel like this is the best way to facilitate what we're trying to do not only in 2018 and beyond."
Harper, however, presents a convoluted case.
Harper, who will be a free agent at season's end, has been the longstanding face of the franchise since he was selected with the first overall pick in 2010, and moving him before season's end may have an effect on their attempt to re-sign him. Harper, who is hitting .246/.380/.511 with 30 homers, has long been optimistic about the club's postseason chances. And by moving the six-time All-Star, Washington would give up the chance to extend the star outfielder a qualifying offer and receive Draft pick compensation should he reject that offer.
Washington entered Tuesday 7 1/2 games back of the Braves in the NL East standings and 6 1/2 games out of the second NL Wild Card spot, with four teams ahead.
Managing principal owner Mark D. Lerner wrote in a letter to fans on Tuesday: "I believed in this team, and would have loved to see them all play healthy together this season. However, the time has come for us to make decisions that will bolster our roster for next season and beyond. This is about giving us some roster flexibility, giving us the opportunity to see some of our young talent, and seeing if we can still find a combination or two that could spark a difference."
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.