Despite moving other pending free agents today, the Nationals have pulled back superstar Bryce Harper from revocable waivers. Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com tweeted that the Nationals had not reached any further agreements after their two earlier swaps, meaning Harper’s previously reported trip onto the waiver wire would not result in an agreement.
Harper, who’ll qualify for the open market at season’s end, had evidently been claimed by the Dodgers, per Grant Paulsen of MLB Network Radio (via Twitter). But he won’t be following Manny Machado in making a mid-season, pre-free agency move from the Mid-Atlantic to Los Angeles.
Having failed to work out a deal with the Dodgers, the Nationals revoked the waiver request rather than letting Harper walk for nothing. That means that the Nats will still be on the hook for nearly $5MM of salary between now and the end of the season.
To be sure, Harper could in theory be placed on waivers again later this month. But that’d almost certainly mean losing a franchise player for no compensation other than salary relief — an outcome the team just rejected by pulling him back today. Instead, the Nationals surely plan to issue Harper a qualifying offer, setting the stage for draft compensation if he does not end up reaching a new deal to remain in D.C.