UPDATE: That was quick. The Nats have traded Adams to the St. Louis Cardinals.
UPDATE: And they’ve traded Murphy to the Cubs. The Nats’ 2018 season is effectively over.
There’s always some inexactness as to the timeline of these things, but it would appear as though the Nationals have until sometime today to either let them go on a waiver claim, work out a trade with the claiming team or to pull them back off waivers and keep things as they are.
The latter option is by far the most likely one for Harper, who the Nationals (a) are not likely to get a life-changing haul for if they tried to trade him given that he’ll be a free agent in October; and (b) are likely to extend a qualifying offer to once he is a free agent, all but ensuring them a draft pick. The calculus is not quite the same for Murphy, also a pending free agent, who is not eligible for a qualifying offer given that he’s received one previously. Letting him go saves them a few million bucks over the rest of the season. Adams is also a pending free agent to whom a qualifying offer is highly unlikely to be extended.
Either way, this is the stuff a club that has fallen out of contention has to think hard about, and the Nats appear to have fallen out of contention.