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Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper available, per reports

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Whether it is genuine or not is yet to be seen, but the next 24 hours will be highly intriguing.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

According to Mark Feinsand of MLB dot com, Bryce Harper is on the trading block.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Nationals, who are hoping to catch the Braves and Phillies for the NL East crown, are hoping that a team overwhelms them with an offer.

Harper, one of the league’s most well-known stars, has averaged 4.1 fWAR per season since entering the league (2018 included), including a monstrous 2015 which saw him take home the NL MVP. It’s worth noting, though, that various injuries (read: diving for baseballs and crashing into the outfield wall) limited him to lesser games played in 2013 (118), 2014 (100), and 2017 (111).

This year, however, Harper is not doing nearly as well, with a slash line of .220/.369/.473 and 1.6 fWAR/0.4 bWAR.

Projection systems are bullish on the rest-of-season production for Harper, which between ZiPS, Steamer, and Depth Charts, vary between 1.6-1.8 wins above replacement.

As one of the higher-payroll teams in the league, salary would not be a problem for the remainder of the season, but the Angels’ poor competitive positioning in 2018 leaves them out of the running for the D.C. outfielder.