Again, we are not suggesting there is a rift between Harper and the Nationals, but they may find his overall demands are too high of a burden on their long-term plans.
Yes, the Nationals are not a low payroll team. But, with a poor television deal with MASN—a channel they have a low ownership stake in with the Baltimore Orioles—they do not have the unlimited resources the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees do.
Trading the popular Harper will not sit well with the fans. As he hits his age 24 season, the haul Washington would get borders on historic. Whether it is a bounty of prospects, a centerfielder and catcher they need or a Mike Trout, Harper is one of the most valuable commodities in all of baseball.
If Boras and Harper ask for the moon, stars and Saturn for a huge deal, Mike Rizzo and company will evaluate whether a move is in their best interests or continue with negotiations on a new deal.
Chances of Harper leaving via trade now is low, but Washington has the most leverage this offseason. It would be a stunner, for sure. So was Cleveland making the World Series.