Nationals nixed Bryce Harper trade before deadline

Bryce Harper

Rosenthal reports that Nationals ownership "refused to approve the move" and vetoed the trade before it could reach the closing stages.

In hindsight, if they had acquired him, the entire MLB Postseason picture could've changed with the firepower of an addition like this. Well, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Rizzo did in fact have a deal in place (subscription) to ship Harper to Houston at the end of July before Nats ownership put the kibosh on it.

For a contending team that was this focused on acquiring him, it could leave a lasting impression in the long run.

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Instead, Houston wound up falling short of a second consecutive World Series berth, losing to the eventual-champion Boston Red Sox in a five-game American League Championship Series. Or maybe things would have worked out just the same.

The Astros' offer would have benefitted Washington significantly more than the late-round compensatory pick it will receive in the 2019 draft, assuming Harper turns down the team's qualifying offer on Monday and signs with another club.

A few days ago, it was reported that Harper rejected a deal from the Nationals that was for 10 years, $300 million, two people with direct knowledge of the proposed deal told USA TODAY Sports. Ownership's refusal to allow him to be traded indicates that they'd prefer to have him around in the future.

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