The Los Angeles Dodgers have checked in on the availability of Washington Nationals superstar outfielder Bryce Harper in a possible trade, multiple sources told NBC LA.
Harper is widely considered one of the most talented players in Major League Baseball, but is having a down year in 2018. Not coincidentally, so are the Nats, who at 51-51 are in third place of the National League East and seven games back of the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies. However, sources said the Nationals are still undecided on whether they want to start trading big league players in exchange for younger prospects.
The Athletic reported Wednesday that Nationals ownership is pushing general manager Mike Rizzo to do just that. However, it is unknown whether the team would consider trading Harper.
The Nationals had won their division each of the past two seasons and had reached the playoffs in four of the past six, thanks in large part to Harper’s rise from phenom to bona fide star.
Harper will also be a free agent at the end of the 2018 season, and will almost assuredly command a massive contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The Dodgers could be interested in signing Harper, especially given their front office’s widely reported willingness to trade current right fielder Yasiel Puig.
The Dodgers have already made the biggest trade splash of the 2018 MLB season so far, acquiring all-star shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles on July 19.