Astros almost acquired Bryce Harper at non-waiver deadline

Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper has officially been a free agent since he World Series ended on October 27th, but things could've been so much different if the Washington Nationals had just pulled the trigger months ago on a trade.

The Nationals would have received right-hander J.B. Bukauskas, the Astros' No. 8 prospect according to MLB.com, and two other minor leaguers, in exchange for Harper.

The Houston Astros had a trade in place with the Washington Nationals to acquire Bryce Harper, but ownership of the Nationals refused to approve the move.

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With Harper, they would've improved their outfield and added a prolific hitter to the lineup to help compete against the Red Sox.

The Astros' offer would have benefitted Washington significantly more than the late-round compensatory pick it will receive in the 2019 draft, assuming Harper turns down the team's qualifying offer on Monday and signs with another club. On Saturday afternoon, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal dropped a bomb and reported that the 26-year-old nearly was moved during this past season. The Nationals were 53-53 on July 31, some 5½ games out of first place.

The Athletic did speculate that ownership might have feared a deal would hurt the relationship between the sides. The 26-year-old Harper, though, turned it down and now is one of the prizes of free agency, with agent Scott Boras declaring earlier this week that "Harper's Bazaar" is open for business.

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