Rosenthal reports that Nationals ownership "refused to approve the move" and vetoed the trade before it could reach the closing stages.
The Athletic, citing major league sources, said Rizzo's declaration came after Houston and Washington had agreed to the framework of a deal for the right fielder, one that would have sent three minor league prospects to the Nationals, including right-hander J.B. Bukauskas. But on the final day that a non-waiver deal could be made, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo texted The Washington Post to say Harper "is not going anywhere". Catcher Garrett Stubbs, the team's No. 15 prospect, was in play, and the Nationals would have received another, low-level, minor-league pitcher as well. Now Washington's compensation for the longtime face of their franchise will be a compensatory pick after the fourth round of the 2019 draft.
A few days ago, it was reported that Harper rejected a deal from the Nationals that was for 10 years, $300 million, two people with direct knowledge of the proposed deal told USA TODAY Sports. But in the American League Championship Series, the eventual World Series champion Boston Red Sox defeated the Astros in only five games. And the comp pick they'll receive is little more than a lottery ticket, far less than they'd have gotten back from Houston.