With the trade deadline just over six hours away, the Washington Nationals trading away franchise player Bryce Harper seems unlikely.
If any team were to make the strongest case for the six-time All-Star, however, rivals are suggesting it should be the Philadelphia Phillies, according to Fancred's Jon Heyman. Harper, 25, was reportedly made available for trade late Sunday night, per MLB.com.
Harper still seems unlikely to be traded, but some rivals suggest the team to go for it should be Philly: 1. they have the $, threshold space. 2. they tried for Adam jones and other OF. 3. they are in 1st place. 4. they're expected to go hard for harper and/or machado this winter— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 31, 2018
UPDATE, Chelsea Janes, Washington Post, 10:33 a.m.: Mike Rizzo just reached out with this message: "Bryce is not going anywhere. I believe in this team."
For the past few seasons, the Phillies have been included in conversation as among the favorites to acquire Harper, especially given their minimal salary commitments in future seasons. On July 15, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported the Phillies and Managing Partner John Middleton are "very aggressive," have "no reservations about spending money," and they "might try to sign" both Harper and Manny Machado as free agents this winter.
The Phillies were in on the Machado sweepstakes until he was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 18. Perhaps they will be equally as aggressive to acquire Harper on Tuesday as well.