Indians, Nationals have discussed Bryce Harper trade

Dave Martinez

The Nationals have struggled with any kind of consistency so far this season and are at least considering open to dealing Harper.

MLB.com executive reporter Mark Feinsand reported Monday night that a source confirmed the Nationals have made Harper available with less than 24 hours remaining until the trade deadline.

However, Nats GM Mike Rizzo held a press conference on Tuesday morning saying the team is not trading Harper.

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Harper, 25, is in the a year ago of his contract and will be one of the biggest free agents on the market after this season. He also told ESPN's Buster Olney that Harper will not be dealt. He won 2015 NL MVP with a monster season and has been named to the NL All-Star team six times. But everyone involved has prepared for the potential of Harper's departure for years, and all indications from those inside the front office are that the Nationals do not want to put 20 percent or more of their payroll into one player. Whatever they do by 4 p.m.

Janes did clarify in a later tweet that the reports of the Nationals "listening" on Harper offers weren't true, just that the club didn't hear the right type of offers and pulled back their superstar to try and make a late run in the National League East.

And therein lies another awkward part of all this, that while the Nationals did not want anyone to know they would be listening on Harper, they can not deny it now.

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