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The July MLB calendar is a crowded one, what with the draft and the All-Star Game festivities just around the next bend. The signature event, however, is the July 30 trade deadline and the approaching hoofbeats thereof. Hear them? They approacheth, the hoofbeats. Let us prepare for their arrival with a roundup of Tuesday's rumors. 

Nats leaning toward selling

Not so long ago, the Nationals were surprise contenders. They were .500-ish, and that's thus far been enough to matter in the NL wild-card race. However, the Nats have presently dropped 13 of their last 20, and that regression may have GM Mike Rizzo facing reality. As Ken Rosenthal, Katie Woo and Patrick Mooney of The Athletic report, Rizzo and the Nats are indeed poised to sell before the deadline arrives. That likely means outfielder Jesse Winker and reliever Dylan Floro are bound elsewhere. The Athletic also notes that a sell-off in D.C. could expand to include names like closer Kyle Finnegan and outfielder Lane Thomas, among others. 

Phillies eyeing modest moves

The Phillies have been one of baseball's top teams thus far in 2024, but that's no cause for inactivity, especially given the presence of the Braves in the division. Rosenthal, Woo, and Mooney of The Athletic report that the Philly front office under Dave Dombrowski may be looking at some moves at the margins that gets roster primed for October. They write: 

"The Phillies are looking for role players and bullpen depth because they already have MVP-caliber talents and top-of-the-rotation starters who can swing playoff series. Different injury concerns could pop up between now and July 30 and shift priorities."

The Phillies going into Tuesday's slate have an MLB-best record of 58-32 and a 7 1/2-game lead over Atlanta in the NL East. 

Nimmo wants Mets to buy at deadline

The Mets have vaulted back into contention in the crowded National League wild-card fray, and that presents them with a complicated outlook leading up to the trade deadline. For a long time, they looked like sellers, but then they clocked a 16-8 record in June. At this writing, there's still enough time for them to change course yet again before July 30, but right now they're on target for relevance in the standings once tradin' season arrives. 

It'll be an interesting needle to thread for lead decision-maker David Stearns. The Mets have roster needs for sure, but they're also poised to get ace Kodai Senga back from injury fairly soon, which means they could tap into their rotation depth for deadline purposes. Starting pitchers are of course deeply coveted at the deadline, and this year's light supply of sellers means demand will outstrip supply by quite a margin. That'll be tempting for Stearns and the Mets. 

Not surprisingly, Mets players probably don't think it's such a tough call. They're hardwired to want to win, and that means adding not subtracting in late July. As Will Sammon of The Athletic reports, veteran outfielder Brandon Nimmo has been lobbying Stearns and owner Steve Cohen to do just that – be deadline buyers. "Any chance that I get, I kind of throw that in there," Nimmo said. 

As a Mets lifer who's signed through 2030 and enjoying yet another excellent season, the 31-year-old Nimmo certainly has the standing to press for what he wants from ownership and the front office, and he's doing just that. Whether his view wins out of course remains to be seen, but consider this an internal headwind against a deadline sell in Queens or even a deadline of doing nothing much at all.