There are many Nationals trade rumors about buying and selling with the trade deadline close. Now, the Dodgers are said to have checked in on Bryce Harper.
Tis the season for Washington Nationals trade rumors. The team’s buying or selling stance is still unclear for now, and we won’t get much clarity until after this series with the Miami Marlins. But it’s reported the Los Angeles Dodgers have checked in on outfielder Bryce Harper.
If the Nats drop the series in Miami, then Mike Rizzo may well consider selling some pending free agents to re-tool for the 2019 season. And obviously, Harper is the biggest name of the group.
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This is particularly interesting as the Dodgers already have a pretty solid outfield group. Matt Kemp is having a resurgent season, Yasiel Puig is set to return from the disabled list today, then Joc Pederson and the recently promoted Alex Verdugo round out the natural outfielders.
However, the team is clearly all-in for the 2018 season, as evidenced by their acquisition of Manny Machado. So they probably feel like if they can get Harper for good value, it’s worth doing.
Another factor in this is that, compared to other teams who may be in for Harper, the Dodgers have a genuine shot at re-signing him.
They have been able to throw money at worthy players previously, and they also have quite a few players coming off the books this year. Kemp, with his hefty contract, also comes off the books after 2019 too, giving them a little more wiggle room.
Putting together a trade package
In terms of putting together a package for Bryce Harper, it could go one of two ways. They could either deal from their outfield depth and send either Pederson or Verdugo straight up for him.
That seems unlikely though, as both are still highly rated by the organization, and would impact them more than giving up prospects would do. The Dodgers will likely look to deal from the top of their minor league system instead.
Dustin May and Gavin Lux were both mentioned in walks with the Orioles over Machado. It’s not unreasonable to think that Baltimore wanted quantity over top-end quality given the lack of depth in their farm system though.
Both prospects are in High-A and impressing so far this season. May, a right-handed pitcher has a 3.35 ERA but 89 Ks to just 15 walks, showcasing excellent command. On the other side of the ball, Lux has compiled a line of .326/.399/.519 and even has 11 homers, as he looks to rapidly rise through the minors.
As with other trades that we’ve speculated, would this package be enough to risk deteriorating the relationship between the club and Harper? Probably not. However, it would be foolish for Mike Rizzo not to do due diligence on the prospects on offer and come up with a reasonable conclusion.
The LA Dodgers are far from the only team that would check in with the Washington Nationals over Bryce Harper. However, if they can figure out the outfield logjam, then it would be a bad idea to rule them out in any fashion.