NL East Roundup: News and links from around the division

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The Washington Nationals won the NL East title by a whopping 17-game margin last year, and they’re expected to win it again this year. However, as this Spring Training has shown for the Nationals, things can change quickly for a baseball team over the course of a 162-game season.

Although the injuries that the Nationals have faced this spring and will continue to face early in the season shouldn’t have much of an impact on the team’s overall success in 2015, the fact that so many players have gone down just goes to show that no matter how many people predict a team to succeed over the course of a season, anything can happen in this game.

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For this reason, it’s important to keep track of everything that’s going on with the other teams in the division. While the Nationals are still expected to run away with the division title, another team in the division can easily surprise everyone and strip the title away from the Nationals.

With that in mind, here are some great NL East articles from around FanSided to get you caught up on all the latest news from around the division. Be sure to check out the articles below and other articles on each site to see exactly what the Nationals are up against as they enter the season with another NL East title in mind.

Atlanta Braves

Rays Expressing Interest in Braves Wandy Rodriguez

(Alan Carpenter, Tomahawk Take)

I am privileged to be a guest on the Thom Abraham sports radio show on a weekly basis to talk Braves baseball with him, but today, he let me in on something I had missed from Sunday… via TampaBay.com:

"With three of their projected five starters (Alex Cobb, Drew Smyly and Alex Colome) sidelined by injury and illness, the Rays are looking at internal and at least a few external options to join Chris Archer, Nathan Karns and Jake Odorizzi.…But the team is also looking outside, and this is the week veterans who aren’t going to make other teams are cut loose. Among possibilities the Rays appear to be considering are Wandy Rodriguez (who is in camp with the Braves); Bruce Chen and Shawn Marcum (Indians); and Clayton Richard (Pirates). Read full article here."

Miami Marlins

Will Jeffrey Loria Get Credit if Miami Marlins Have Success?

(Shawn, Marlin Maniac)

Perhaps no person in South Florida sports (or perhaps even American sports) is associated with such guttural anger and instinctive vitriol than Miami Marlins owner, Jeffrey Loria. His decision to “press the reset button” after the inaugural season in Marlins Park was immensely frustrating and disappointing to the South Florida market (a market that doesn’t “do” rebuilding years). A feeling of immense, bruising betrayal quickly diffused throughout the market and presumed motivations of greed were speculated upon.

Well fast forward just two years later – and it’s a whole new world for the Miami Marlins and Marlins fans. National experts are predicting the Fish will earn a postseason spot. Some even have the Marlins playing in the World Series. There’s momentum, there’s positivity, there’s optimism, and from all signs, there’s a pretty good baseball team here. Read full article here.

New York Mets

Report: Mets agree to four-year extension with Juan Lagares

(Danny Abriano, Rising Apple)

According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, the Mets have agreed to a four-year extension with Juan Lagares that will be worth more than $20 million.

The extension begins in 2016, covers all of Lagares’ arbitration years and contains a fifth-year team option that would cover his first year of free agency.

Lagares, 26, is viewed by most as the best defensive center fielder in baseball.

Last year for the Mets, Lagares won a Gold Glove while hitting .281/.321/.382 in 452 at bats (116 games played). Read full article here.

Philadelphia Phillies

Sandberg on the Hot Seat?

(Matthew Veasey, That Ball’s Outta Here)

In an article today for CBS Sports, MLB insider Jon Heyman put Phillies skipper Ryne Sandberg near the top of his “MLB Managers on the Hot Seat” list. But is Sandberg really in danger of losing his job this season?

Normally to lose your job as a manager in Major League Baseball, one of a handful of situations has developed. Your team disappoints, falling short of expectations. The loftier those expectations, and the worse the performance, the greater the chances of a firing. Read full article here.

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