Should the Nats trade Bryce Harper?

July 23, 2018 - 11:45 am

It would have been unfathomable six months ago to consider the Nationals trading Bryce Harper.

But here we are, with 64 regular-season games to play, and the Nats are up against it, in third place and still trailing by six games in the NL East.

If there is an all-options-on-the-table point to be reached, it’s not far off.

The Sports Junkies on Monday weighed the positives and negatives of the Nats doing the unthinkable, trading away their former phenom under the weight of a collapsing season.

Pros:

  • Nats acquire something for Harper instead of losing him for nothing during the offseason
     
  • The "something" will presumably contain players or prospects that can contribute for the Nats immediately or down the road
     
  • Saves the Nats hundreds of millions of dollars that would have been used to sign Harper, allowing them to use that money to plug other holes on the team (starting rotation, second base, catcher, etc.)
     
  • Provides Victor Robles (once healthy) more playing time at the major league level

Cons:

  • Lose one of the best and most recognizable players in all of baseball in Harper, not to mention a clubhouse cornerstone
     
  • Risk getting essentially nothing for Harper if prospects Nats receive don't pan out
     
  • Further divide a fan base already upset about the disappointing season
     
  • Potentially strain relationship with Scott Boras, Harper's agent who represents several Nats players

With just eight days left before the non-waiver trade deadline, the Nationals are running out of time to decide whether they'll be sellers. And if they make that choice, Harper could be one of the names considered.