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TRUE STORY: The Houston Astros Actually Traded For Bryce Harper In 2018 Only For Nationals Ownership To Call The Whole Thing Off At The 11th Hour

I feel like everyone tried to trade for/sign Bryce Harper at some point in the last decade. But fuck it. World Series starts tomorrow. I'll entertain a world where Bryce ended up with the Astros then stayed there permanently. That world fucking sucks but I'll entertain it nonetheless. 

B/R - The details of the trade had not been publicly revealed until Thursday, when Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reported that the Astros would have dealt infielders Abraham Toro and Randy Cesar, right-handed pitchers Josh James and J.B. Bukauskas and left-handed pitcher Kent Emanuel.

Ultimately, the Astros failed to land Harper because Nationals owner Ted Lerner did not agree to the trade, per Rome. The parameters had been agreed upon by then-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and Nats general manager Mike Rizzo

Houston Chronicle had the story but they got a paywall. That's their problem. For now I think we check in on the boys the Nats could have had: 

1. Abraham Toro - 74 OPS+ in 262 games

2. Randy Cesar - out of affiliated baseball

3. J.B. Bukauskas - 17.1 career innings, 7.79 ERA

4. Josh James - 5 innings this year

5. Kent Emmanuel - Phillies AAA lefty reliever

So definitely good move from the owner at the time only to be completely fumbled months later when they let him go to Philly, then burned their compensation draft pick by signing Patrick Corbin to a 6-year/$140M deal. So maybe very bad move in the long run? 

Who cares. The Nationals got a ring the next year and the Astros were in the early stages of our modern dynasty. Philly gets a shot at the title and everyone got to walk away happy. 


We did a Player Swap on today's Starting 9 in this same kinda tone. Pick one player from each team that would most improve the other team. For the Astros I think you have to say JT Realmuto because he's such an improvement from Maldanado. Even if Harper is the better player. JT is the harder one to replace I think. 

For the Phillies, I'm taking Bregman. Not thinking twice about it either. Just a complete dirtbag in all material respects and I mean that with the utmost admiration. 

Bryce Harper though? 

He'd probably hate the Houston traffic. Don't be deceived by the urban sprawl. That's a tough town to move around. 

More this week on Starting 9