Nationals float Bryce Harper, hoping for insane trade offer

Dave Martinez

The Dodgers, Indians, and Yankees are also rumored to be at least somewhat interested in Harper.

Then, General Manager Mike Rizzo, who said he went sleepless Monday night, sent a text message to The Post.

Harper will be a free agent at season's end, and while he's not having an MVP-caliber season, he has the potential to be a real difference-maker for a contending team.

Harper, 25, has become one of the biggest names in baseball since the Nationals picked him first overall in the 2010 draft.

One report suggests that the Nationals have done more than just make Harper available, too.

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In other words, it may not be that the front office "believe [s] in this team", it may instead be that ownership stepped in and forced their hand. The rest of the Nationals roster hasn't fared much better.

The MLB trade deadline is set for 4 p.m. E.T. Stay tuned.

In return for Harper, the Nationals would ask for multiple pitchers, a very high asking price for a player in Harper who would likely be a rental. Eastern, the Nationals will be 5 1/2 games back in the National League East when they begin play with the New York Mets this evening, a surmountable deficit they could still eclipse.

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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