Tom Verducci, MLB writer: Nats should have traded Harper at deadline
Hindsight is 20/20, but with the Washington Nationals’ disappointing season ending short of the playoffs, it’s fair to look back and question some of the team’s decisions.
Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, a senior baseball writer who also serves as an analyst for FOX Sports, told “The Jim Rome Show” that the Nationals would have been better served trading Bryce Harper midseason.
“I thought they were overrating their team,” Verducci said of the Nationals’ front office. “The hardest thing to do, especially now with this second wild card, is to look yourself in the mirror as a team, as a general manager, and say, ‘We’re not good enough to make the postseason. Let’s cash in this chip and see what we can get to make sure we’re back there next year.’”
The Nationals traded away other parts instead, like Daniel Murphy and Gio Gonzalez, and reportedly listened to offers for Harper, though general manager Mike Rizzo denied it.
Harper is set to become a free agent this winter, and the Nationals won’t get anything in return if he chooses to sign elsewhere. The star slugger has made it known how much he enjoyed playing for Washington, but Verducci doesn’t think that gives the Nationals the inside track this offseason.
“You can book it right now: The team that signs Bryce Harper is going to be the team that offers him the most money. Period,” Verducci said. “And it’s going to be a lot of money.”