Arguably one of the biggest seasons in Washington Nationals history has been a disaster, and things don't appear to be getting better as the organization weighs whether to buy or sell ahead of Tuesday's deadline.
Considered favorites to win the National League East and contenders for the World Series before the season, the Nationals now sit one game under .500 and six games back in both the division and wild-card race. The performance on the field has reportedly led to issues behind the scenes.
"The clubhouse is a mess," one source told Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
In recent weeks, the Nationals have had a number of issues in addition to losing. Staff aces Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg were involved in a heated argument in the dugout and Trea Turner was benched for not hustling. The infielder also received flak after insensitive tweets resurfaced on Sunday. Meanwhile, Bryce Harper publicly advocated for the team to trade for J.T. Realmuto after the Miami Marlins catcher walked off the Nationals last week.
That comment reportedly irked a number of people within the organization who saw it as unprofessional, sources told Passan.
The trade deadline has caused additional stress. Nationals ownership reportedly began pressuring the front office to sell last week, though general manager Mike Rizzo wasn't prepared to punt on the season.
The future uncertainty is believed to be weighing on Harper as he nears free agency, leading him to reportedly ask those close to him if they believed the Nationals might trade him. Despite potentially receiving a substantial return for Harper, it's not believed that the Nationals plan on moving the six-time All-Star, as they still wish to re-sign him this winter.