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Around the NL East: Division gearing up for busy trade deadline

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Around the NL East: Division gearing up for busy trade deadline

ATLANTA BRAVES 

We're a week away from the non-waiver trade deadline, and we still don't know who the Braves might ship in a deal. There have been rumors that it could be infielders Chris Johnson, Juan Uribe or reliever Jim Johnson. But perhaps the strangest buzz out right now is that 24-year-old right hander Julio Teheran could be available. Trading young pitching seems counterintuitive for a club that is supposedly a 'seller' at the deadline, so it'd be interesting to see how much the Braves could fetch for him -- if he's indeed there to be had. 

MIAMI MARLINS 

There's no doubting that the Marlins are sellers, and they have enough attractive pieces to net something meaningful in return. But at the moment, the trade buzz mostly is around starter Dan Haren and centerfielder Marcell Ozuna. Hearing latter's name in trade rumors is a bit surprising, seeing as how the club was trying to sign the 24-year-old to a long term extension back in spring training, and is perceived to still have plenty of upside. But despite a down season, if other teams value him just as highly then perhaps there's a case to be made to deal him now if there are quality prospects up for grabs. The only question is if another club would actually be willing to part with something substantial for a player without a proven major league track record. 

NEW YORK METS 

The Mets, coming off a disappointing series loss to the Nationals, are still in the market for another bat as they make a push for the playoffs. They've been linked to just about every hitter available: From Justin Upton to Carlos Gomez to Ben Zobrist, it seems like the no stone will go unturned when looking to boost their lineup. While New York definitely needs help offensively, it doesn't seem like the team is really prepared to "go all in" this season and part with big prospects for a rental. But being only three games out of a playoff spot near the end of July is enticing, so you wonder if the Mets might do an about-face and risk a little more than they originally wanted to. 

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES  

The trade deadline means it's the Phillies' time to shine. At least, that's what their fanbase is hoping for. The club will enter next week hoping to end the longstanding will-he-stay-or-will-he-go saga of lefty Cole Hamels. And according to a few reports, they've already begun the process, talking to the Chicago Cubs about a deal for the Philly ace. But apparently, the Phillies aren't in love with the offers they've been given so far, so nothing is a foregone conclusion. Are they really prepared to extend this situation again if trade talks fall through the next week? And what about closer Jonathan Papelbon? It's clear he wants to be gone as soon as possible, but according to reports, the Phillies haven't made headway on a deal to ship him elsewhere.

So for all that's gone wrong in Philly this season -- and it's been pretty bad -- if they can't close a deal on either Hamels or Papelbon in the next week, things are going to get a lot worse before they get better in the City of Brotherly Love. 

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

Remember Jim Riggleman, the infamous Nats manager that resigned from the position back in 2011 after a win against the Seattle Mariners? Well he's back in a managerial position.

Bryan Price was fired as manager of the Cinncinati Reds Thursday, after the team started the 2018 season 3-15. Riggleman, who spent four seasons as their bench coach, was named the interim manager to replace Price.

Riggleman was promoted to interim manager of the Nats in July of 2009, after Manny Acta was let go midseason. He stayed on as manager for 2010 and 2011, and he then resigned from the team on June 23, 2011 after a win agaisnt the Seattle Mariners. He had lead the team to a win in 11 of their last 12 games prior to stepping away.

The reason behind the dramatic exit was due to the organization not yet picking up his 2012 contract option. He had reportedly requested a conversation with the front office about his future with the organization, and was upset after they declined. At 58 years-old, he felt he deserved more respect.

He's been with the Reds organization since 2012, and has spent time managing the Padres, Cubs and Mariners, in addition to the Nationals. His career winning pct. with each team has been below-.500.

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes launched a grand slam during a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning that rallied the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Wednesday night, preventing a three-game sweep.

Todd Frazier tied it at 4 with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Lagares put New York ahead for the first time with a two-run double off ineffective setup man Ryan Madson (0-2).

Shut down by Tanner Roark for seven innings, the first-place Mets broke loose in the eighth and improved to 13-4 with a stirring victory against their NL East rivals.

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs for the Nationals, who pulled off their own big comeback in the eighth inning of the series opener.

Two nights later, New York returned the favor.

Roark limited the Mets to two hits and left leading 4-2. Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera singled off Madson to load the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Jay Bruce fouled out before Frazier smacked a two-run single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home.

After an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases again, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores struck out. Lagares then lined a two-run double the other way, just inside the right-field line at the outer edge of the infield grass, to put the Mets up 6-4.

Sammy Solis walked Amed Rosario and Conforto to force in a run. Cespedes connected for his sixth career slam -- the third by the Mets already this season -- off A.J. Cole, sending fans into a frenzy.

Both of Cespedes' hits in the inning came on 0-2 pitches.

AJ Ramos (1-1) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets since being acquired from Miami last July.

Howie Kendrick reached on an infield single for Washington in the first and Bryce Harper drew his 24th walk, most in the majors. Zimmerman, batting .121 at that point and struggling to make opponents pay for bypassing Harper, came through with a drive to left-center off Steven Matz for his second home run of the season.

Matz steadied himself after a 33-pitch first inning and retired his final 10 batters. He was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fourth after throwing 74 pitches.

Cabrera doubled to open the fourth and scored on Gonzalez's single. Zimmerman had a chance to start an inning-ending double play, but his throwing error from first base allowed another run to score on Jose Lobaton's RBI grounder as the Mets cut it to 3-2.

After Mets pitchers retired 16 in a row, Zimmerman's leadoff triple in the seventh got past a diving Bruce in right field, and Moises Sierra followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Zimmerman also hit a solo homer in the ninth.