As speculation around Bryce Harper’s future continues pending his free agency decision, Astros general manager Jeff Lunhow revealed the 26-year-old outfielder was close to landing with Houston before the trade deadline in July 2018.
“There was an agreement in principle in place and it didn’t get over the finish line for whatever reason, out of our control. But, yeah, we had interest,” Luhnow told the media Thursday at the Astros’ spring training. “We had worked out an agreement with players both ways. But those things have approval levels they have to go through and it didn’t happen so we moved on.”
Jeff Luhnow acknowledged the #Astros had an agreement in place to land Bryce Harper in a trade last season that fell through: “It didn’t happen. So we moved on.” pic.twitter.com/r9ZXjasOVH
Lunhow didn’t reveal details as to why the deal didn’t work out, but he explained situations like that happen often.
“We don’t really talk about the deals that didn’t happen because they don’t happen, but I think guys would be surprised at the types of players at times we’ve gone after and how close we’ve come on some of them,” Lunhow added.
“But it is an indication that every year during the summer we’re going to look at alternatives helping our club. Especially if we’re in a position where we think we’re looking good for the playoffs, we know who our opposition might be in the playoffs and certainly a player like that would have helped us.”
MLB hot stove: Giants to offer Bryce Harper short-term deal, report says
With players beginning to report to spring training this week, Harper remains a free agent. The Giants, Padres, Dodgers, Phillies, Angels and Yankees have all been rumored to be interested in landing the six-time All-Star.
Harper, who has spent all seven of his MLB seasons with the Nationals, slashed .249/.393/.496 with 34 home runs and 100 RBIs in 159 games with the Nationals last season.
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