WASHINGTON - After swirling speculation and conflicting reports, the Washington Nationals decided not to deal superstar Bryce Harper at the MLB trade deadline on Tuesday.
MLB.com reported the Nationals were open to entertaining talks for the All-Star right fielder but a trade did not come to fruition before the 4 p.m. deadline. Tuesday's deadline is the last point during the season that a player can be traded from one team to another without first needing to clear waivers.
With trade rumors swirling on Tuesday, FOX 5's Steve Chenevey reached out to Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo who said the team would be keeping Harper.
The 25-year-old slugger will become an unrestricted free agent in the off-season, meaning he can sign with any team who offers him a deal. He is expected to command a massive contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Nationals have been one of baseball's biggest disappointments this season as they entered Tuesday with a 52-53 record. Despite the team's lackluster record, they are still within 5 ½ games of the NL East lead and the second wild card.
While Harper remained with the Nationals, the team dealt reliever Brandon Kintzler to the Chicago Cubs for minor league pitcher Jhon Romero. Kintzler, a 2017 All-Star, was acquired by the Nationals at the trade deadline last season from the Minnesota Twins.
Kintzler, who turns 34 on Wednesday, was 1-2 with two saves and a 3.59 ERA in 45 games this season. He had been especially tough in 14 games since coming back from the disabled list from a strained forearm.
Romero, a 23-year-old righty, was 1-2 with nine saves and a 3.27 ERA at Class A Myrtle Beach.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.