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Nats, NL East trade rumors

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Nats, NL East trade rumors

With another wild card added to the MLB playoff format, one could have guessed the weeks leading up to this years trade deadline would be a little crazier than years past. Teams that normally would be sellers are now in position to possibly make the playoffs and therefore have become buyers. The predictions have rung true with a few notable trades already having happened and one bizarre almost-trade involving Chicago and Atlanta.

It also seems there are, in general, more rumors this season than in recent years. Each team in the National League East, in fact, has been mentioned in various deals with each club with different reasons to trade.

Here is a roundup of what has been mentioned so far:

Nationals

With the expected shutdown of Stephen Strasburg, the Nats have been linked to several starting pitchers. Zack Greinke is the biggest name out there, but according to a recent report, the likelihood of him coming to D.C. is dwindling.

The possibility of a catcher has also come up with the absence of Wilson Ramos and the uneven play of Jesus Flores. A report last week mentioned Ramon Hernandez as a possibility and the Nats have been linked to Kelly Shoppach in the past. Catcher would seem to be a need for Washington, but nothing specific has been reported of late.

The other position thought to be on the Nationals radar is a middle infielder. Ian Desmond recently went to the disabled list, but they have Danny Espinosa and Steve Lombardozzi to hold down the fort. CSNs Mark Zuckerman has heard the Nationals may just stay put, here is his report.

Phillies

The Phillies continue to be among the most popular teams expected to be sellers at the deadline. Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino and been obvious names with expiring contracts, but now Hunter Pence is reportedly available.

Hamels and the Phillies continue to work through contract talks with their latest offer a reported 137.5 million. It would seem that if he is dealt, it will be a last minute move.

Marlins

Miami sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to Detroit for a top prospect earlier in the week, but that was just the beginning of their dealing. Early Wednesday morning they traded Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers who is due 31.5 million over the next two seasons.

The Marlins may also trade the underachieving Josh Johnson if the price is right. The hard-throwing right-hander is the teams ace, but with the team trying to shed payroll could be a casualty.

Braves

The Braves were involved in the Ryan Dempster almost-trade that left them feeling rejected by his 105 rights. It was reported that Dempster wants to go to the Dodgers instead and turned down the offer to go to Atlanta. The Braves were offering one of their top pitching prospects in Randall Delgado.

Mets

New York has been sliding lately and is still without the injured Johan Santana, but still GM Sandy Alderson wont commit to being sellers. The Mets plan to keep their options open and may not make a deal bigger than the small one they made last week.

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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.