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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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Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

The Washington Nationals have signed former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters to a one-year deal with a player option for a second year, according to multiple reports. 

Wieters spent the first eight years in the Majors with the Baltimore Orioles, being named to the AL All-Star team four times and winning two gold glove awards. Last season the switch-hitting catcher posted a .243 average with 17 homers and 66 RBI.  

The Nationals have been in the market for catchers all offseason after Wilson Ramos left for Tampa Bay in free agency. The team traded for former Padres catcher Derek Norris, whose role is now in question. The Nationals still have Jose Lobaton on the roster as a strong defensive backup catcher who has a proven rapport with many of the pitchers in the Nationals rotation. Wieters had been linked to the Nationals all offseason because of the team's need a the position and because of the Nationals close relationship with Wieters' agent Scott Boras. 

The only significant time that Wieters has missed due to injury in his career came in 2014-15 when he had Tommy John surgury. Prior to that surgury, however, Wieters had played in at least 130 games for four straight seasons and became a large part of the Orioles' identity. 

The 30-year-old backstop will give the Nationals lineup more depth and power. Wieters had three consecutive 20-homer seasons from 2011-13 and since 2009 when his career began, he ranks fifth among catchers in all of baseball in home runs with 117. 

Related: Nationals 2017 promotional schedule includes snow globes and fedoras

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Nationals 2017 promotional giveaways include snow globes and fedoras

Nationals 2017 promotional giveaways include snow globes and fedoras

The Washington Nationals recently released the dates of their promotional days and giveaways this season, and there are some real gems in this schedule.

Among the standard bobblehead giveaways — Daniel Murphy on April 14, Trea Turner on May 12 and Tanner Roark on June 9 — and the highly recommended Pups in the Park days — April 29, May 13, June 10, June 25, September 7 and September 30 — pick the right game and you could get a snow globe, an American flag shirt or even a fedora. Seriously.

On May 24’s game against the Mariners, the first 25,000 fans will get a Max Scherzer snow globe, which has the potential to be the coolest knickknack in your house. Or on June 14 against the Braves — oddly not closer to the Fourth of July — Budweiser is behind the first 15,000 21-and-up fans getting an American flag tank top.

But truly the most unique item on this list is the Nationals-themed fedora, which will go to the first 25,000 fans at the Brewers’ July 26 matchup. How the Nats landed on this promotional item remains a mystery, but if you like hats beyond a traditional baseball cap, this is the game to attend.

Other cool or oddball promotions include the Nats Magic 8-Ball game April 3, the Chewbacca Koozie day May 27, Bryce Harper action figure day August 29 and Oktoberfest beer stein day Sept. 29.

Here's the complete list of the team's promotional days and giveaways

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