Bryce Harper remains, but Nationals have uphill climb to playoffs

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USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale breaks down how players and teams fared at the MLB trade deadline.
USA TODAY

While their two main NL East competitors made significant additions at Tuesday’s trade deadline, the Washington Nationals chose not to deal star outfielder Bryce Harper and made only one minor move.

While general manager Mike Rizzo said a few days earlier he would listen to offers for Harper — who will be a free agent at the end of this season — nothing came close to spurring trade talks. 

“Rizzo reassured me earlier yesterday that I wasn’t going anywhere,” Harper said before the Nats prepared to open a series against the New York Mets. “So I was very happy about that and that I’m still inside this clubhouse.”

Ah yes, the clubhouse. 

A report Monday by Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan quoted a source, apparently within the organization, as saying the Nationals clubhouse is “a mess,” because of the team’s underachieving ways (52-53 entering Tuesday’s game) and some discontent…

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