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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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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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@MLB

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.