UPDATE (18:14): Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that Indians are interested in Bryce Harper:
The Indians and the Nationals have recently talked about a possible Bryce-Harper deal, It was Monday at MLB.com, but the discussions are still gaining momentum.
Yankee fans hoping to reach outsider Bryce Harper of Washington Nationals before January 31 will not like this news:
Rivals believe that there is almost no chance Nats will face Bryce Harper in 28-hour Window that exists, market / trade. 1. You want to sign it in the long term. 2. You are within striking distance of 2 young teams. 3. They usually have the team together again (except Strasburg).
̵1; Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 30, 2018
Several rival managers believe the #Nats will rebel for the time being, unwilling to surrender, but if their fate does not improve it , will try to relieve players in August by trading waivers
– Bob Nightengale (@Brightgale) July 30, 2018
The talk of the Nationals appearing with Harper surfaced last week as Washington slipped out of the playoff clash. With 52 to 53, the Nationals are in third place in the National League East, six games behind the first place Phillies. Washington is eighth in the NL wildcard race.
Harper becomes free agent after the season and almost certainly does not sign up again at the Nationals. So if Washington thinks there will be no playoff hopes this year, trading with Harper would bring something to the reigning Home Run Derby champ until the deadline on Tuesday.
Harper is second in the National League this season with 25 home games. But he beats a career-worst .220.
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Despite his bouts this year, Harper, the 2015 NL MVP, is expected to receive contract deals from several deeply dropped teams like the Yankees and Phillies
It would not be a complete surprise if Yankees general manager Brian Cashman would run in Harper before the close. Cashman and the Yankees could use a bat in the lineup and are skinny in the outfield with Aaron Judge (broken right wrist), Clint Frazier (symptoms of aftershock) and Gary Sanchez (groin strain) on the disabled list.
Cashman spent the time until the Trade Deadline, focusing on pitching staff by adding Zach Britton and JA Starter Happ. Cashman will also see Tampa Bay Ray's right-handed Chris Archer and New York Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler.
Mike Rosenstein can be reached at email@example.com . Follow him on Twitter @ rosenstein73 . Find NJ.com on Facebook .