Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Trade Deadline Edition... Read While You Wait.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 21: Bryce Harper #34 scores on a single by Danny Espinosa #8 of the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on July 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

• There isn't much chatter about the Washington Nationals so far this morning as we close in on four hours remaining before the 2012 MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline. Some chatter about the Nats being interested in catching help has surfaced, but that's about it so far. Will the NL East's first place Nats stand pat? Will Mike Rizzo surprise everyone with a big move? A small move to shore up the roster? There are just under four hours until the 4:00 pm EDT deadline this afternoon and just under seven hours until the Nationals and Phillies meet in Nationals Park with Stephen Strasburg on the mound against Cliff Lee (if he isn't dea--- What? I used that gag already today? Whatever.) How about the Nats will take on the Phillies and outfielder Shane Victorino if he isn't dealt to the LA Dodgers before tonight's game... Word is the Phils have called up outfielder Dominic Brown which has folks thinking Shane-O might be on his way out west. (Update: Victorino's been traded for Dodgers' prospects RHP Josh Lindblom and RHP Ethan Martin." ) While you're waiting to find out what happens, (Update: "Now the Phillies have traded Hunter Pence to the SF Giants".) Cliff Lee still a Philly? For now... Here's some reading material. Links and lots of them, RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!:

• "With Tuesday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline drawing near, the Phillies may be a different team when they take the field." - "Nationals, Phillies: two teams headed in different directions" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "The kind of magic that fans in Washington hope will fill Nationals Park this fall is something those in Philadelphia are used to at Citizens Bank Park." - "Phillies have crashed after 5 straight NL East titles" - Steve Whyno, Washington Times

• "[Ryan] Dempster becomes a free agent after this season, meaning the Nats would be giving away a group of pretty strong prospects in order to acquire a pitcher for two-plus months of use." - "Nationals Pastime: The clock keeps on ticking" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals finished the 2011 season with 104 errors — 16th fewest out of 30 MLB teams. This season, they have committed 57 (four on their just-completed 6-1 road trip) — the ninth fewest in baseball." - "Nationals’ unheralded contributor: their defense" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "And then there are the Nationals. They woke up this morning with baseball's best record at 61-40 and apparently no motivation to make a deal before 4 p.m..." - "Trade deadline day live blog" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "With Tuesday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline drawing near, the Phillies may be a different team when they take the field." - "Nationals, Phillies: two teams headed in different directions" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• Updated:

• "Five years in a row the Nats have watched Philadelphia win the NL East -- and three times were forced to witness the celebration in person." - "Nationals, Phillies trade places" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "June 2002: Acquired Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew from Indians for Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, Grady Sizemore and Lee Stevens." - "A team-by-team look at famous in-season deals" - Noah Trister, AP/WTOP.com

• "The Nationals feel pretty comfortable with their catching situation, but they could look to add experience." - "Nationals at the trade deadline: Live updates" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "If [Davey] Johnson is already comfortable, which it appears he is, that puts less pressure on the Nationals to make that type of move." - "With less than 24 hours to go, Nationals remain pragmatic about trade deadline" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "This season, the Washington Nationals have seen both sides of what can happen to a closer in the face of that pressure." - "For closers, it’s focus, not stuff, that makes the difference" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "'With all the injuries we've had, young guys have really stood up and picked up a lot of slack,' Johnson said. 'Harper and Lombo, Tyler Moore, Brown, the catchers -- the list goes on and on.'" - "Depth keeps Nats from panicking at Deadline" - Adam Berry, nationals.com: News

• "The Nationals did not play tonight, and still results elsewhere pushed them into new territory." - "The Nationals have the best record in baseball by themselves" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "With just two months left in the regular season, baseball's contenders are attempting to shore up their rosters by Tuesday's trade deadline." - "Fewer buyers in the NL now" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Don't blame others for your uneasy feelings; blame your own state of mind. This is why altruism brings you greater peace of mind."

• NATS MINORS:

• "Right-handed pitcher Josh Wilkie has been given his release by the Nationals. Director of player development Doug Harris confirmed today that Wilkie is no longer with the organization." - "Josh Wilkie no longer with the Nationals organization" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "That's when Auburn closer RHP Derek Self came in and slammed the door, striking out CF Andrew Aplin to end the game and pick up his seventh save of the summer." - "Doubledays avoid sweep with 9-5 win over ValleyCats" - Eli Pearlstein, Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "Brett Mooneyham and Robert Benincasa shut down one of the league's best offenses for eight innings, leading the Auburn Doubledays a 9-5 win over the Tri-City ValleyCats Monday." - "Sweep avoided: D-days pitching shuts down Cats through eight innings" - Auburn Citizen

Class-A Hagerstown: Suns 2, Power 14 - Justin Miller - 2 for 4, HR; Bobby Hansen, Jr. - 5.0 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K's - Hagerstown Suns Scoreboard

Class-A Potomac: "Double your discount with the P-Nats for Tuesday's 7:05 PM start time with the Two-for-Tuesday promotion. One can receive two reserve tickets, two hot dogs, and two small sodas for the price of one." - "P-Nats Begin Homestand on Two-For-Tuesday" - Potomac Nationals News

Triple-A Syracuse: "Eury Perez led off the bottom of the first with a base hit and stole second base. Then, Jayson Werth crushed a double to deep right-center field to drive home Perez and give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead." - "Hot Chiefs score late, beat IronPigs" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Tuesday’s News & Notes" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "Well, the Nats are wisely leveraging their 2012 success to drive up their 2013 season ticket base." - "Nats will offer 2012 playoff ticket option to 2013 season ticket holders" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "July 31, 1909 - Once again, the Nats offense fails to score a run for Walter Johnson in a home 1-0 defeat to the White Sox in the first of two." - "This Date in Washington Senators History – ’52 Senators are still in the pennant race" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Pigs fly, snowball fight breaks out in hell, and the Nats have the best record in MLB." - Nats Enquirer

• "'The Phillies and Nationals should be that rivalry that people get fired up about,' Nats COO Andy Feffer told me at the time." - "Morning pixels: The Phillies are coming" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "Nats Talk On The Go: Episode 29" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "All along, GM Mike Rizzo has said he’d do a deal if it made sense for the long-term goals of the team. He’s reluctant to give up prospects for rental players..." - "Washington Nationals: Buyers at MLB Trade Deadline finally, but are Nats going shopping?" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "With the non-waiver trading deadline set to arrive today at 4 p.m., [Scott] Hairston remains in demand for teams seeking a right-handed bat — including these Giants." - "New York Mets defeat San Francisco Giants 8-7 in 10 innings; Scott Hairston hits two home runs" - Mike Puma, NYPOST.com

Braves: "The Braves filled their two biggest needs with one trade late Monday, getting left-hander Paul Maholm and veteran outfielder Reed Johnson from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for a pair of minor league pitchers..." - "Braves trade for Cubs’ Maholm and Reed Johnson" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Phillies: "The Phillies were reportedly close to a trade that would send Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Josh Lindblom, a 25-year-old middle reliever, and a minor-league player." - "Reports: Phillies nearing deal with Dodgers for Shane Victorino" - Matt Gelb, Philly.com

Marlins: "'I don’t think they they’re going to say, ‘Take [Josh Johnson] and give us your broken bats and [batting practice] balls,' [Ozzie] Guillen said of the Marlins front office." - "ATLANTA: Pitching trouble continues to mount as Miami Marlins fall to Atlanta Braves" - Manny Navarro, MiamiHerald.com

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