Arthur Weinstein Updated at 5:42 p.m. ET Updated at 5:42 p.m. ET Watch MLBMLB with fuboTV Imagine Bryce Harper hitting in the middle of the Astros lineup in the 2018 ALCS against the Red Sox. That scenario obviously didn’t happen, but according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Astros had a preliminary deal in place to acquire Harper from Washington before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. According to Rosenthal, the Astros would have sent right-hander J.B. Bukauskas, Houston’s No. 8 overall prospect, catcher Garrett Stubbs (No. 15 prospect) and another minor leaguer to Washington for the 25-year-old Harper. But, Rosenthal reported Saturday that Washington’s ownership refused to approve the trade proposal. In retrospect, that’s looking like a mistake. The Nationals ownership certainly still hoped to sign the six-time All-Star and 2015 NL MVP to a long-term deal. But according to The Washington Post, Harper turned down a lucrative 10-year contract offer worth approximately $300 million in late September. Now, assuming Harper turns down the Nationals’ qualifying offer Monday and enters free agency, the team will get only a compensatory pick in the 2019 MLB Draft.