MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Nationals have been letting other teams know that outfielder Bryce Harper is available via trade. The third-place Nationals had a 9-16 June and are 10-14 in July, certainly the impetus behind the club’s willingness to potentially part with their star player. Of course, letting teams know Harper is available is a lot different than actually committing to trading him.
Harper, 25, is a free agent after the season. He has had a productive year, but it isn’t quite up to the lofty standards the baseball universe has set for him. He’s hitting .220/.369/.473 with 25 home runs and 62 RBI in 450 plate appearances. Harper got off to a good start to the season, but has a low — for him — .777 OPS in his last 41 games, hitting only six home runs.
Earlier today, MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported that the Indians checked in on Harper’s availability. The likeliest outcome is still Harper staying in D.C., but with the club below .500 and Harper poised to test free agency, the Nationals may prefer to get some value before it’s too late.