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Morning Briefing: It's Yoenis Cespedes Day!

2h

NEW YORK --

FIRST PITCH: Yoenis Cespedes is poised to make his New York Mets debut as Citi Field finally is buzzing.

Cespedes, acquired at the trade deadline from the Detroit Tigers for minor league right-handers Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa, is expected to start in left field as the Mets continue a series against the division-leading Washington Nationals at 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Jacob deGrom (10-6, 2.05 ERA) opposes right-hander Joe Ross (2-3, 3.03).

SATURDAY’S NEWS REPORTS:

  • Two days after shedding tears because he believed he was getting traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, Wilmer Flores provided heroics to support the organization he did not want to leave. Cheered throughout the game, Flores drove in both runs, including a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 12th against Felipe Rivero, as the Mets beat the Nats, 2-1 on Friday. The Mets pulled to within two games of Washington for the division lead. The Amazin’s also picked up a game on the San Francisco Giants for the second wild card and now trail by 3½ games. Matt Harvey retired the first 16 Nats batters in a no-decision. Washington suffered only its third loss in its past 20 games at Citi Field. Read game recaps in the Washington Post, Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • The Mets capped an active trade-deadline stretch by adding Cespedes to a trio of other rental players acquired within the past week -- Tyler Clippard, Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe. Cespedes will be activated Saturday and will wear No. 52. The Mets appear likely to demote 2014 first-round pick Michael Conforto, who is 0-for-12 in four games since his four-hit performance last Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cespedes, who won the Home Run Derby at Citi Field in 2013, told ESPN Deportes’ Marly Rivera: “I think the Mets are a team that can go very far.” According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Cespedes becomes the sixth player in major league history to be an All-Star one season, and play for four teams between that year and the next one. He joins Matt Lawton (2004), Armando Benitez (2003), Jose Hernandez (2002), Dave Kingman (1976) and Wally Westlake (1951). Read trade recaps in the Daily News, Times, Journal, Newsday, Record and at MLB.com.

  • Zack Wheeler called general manager Sandy Alderson before Friday’s trade deadline to express that he wanted to be a part of the Mets. Alderson acknowledged it played a role in retaining Wheeler, whom the Mets were prepared to send to Milwaukee with Flores for Carlos Gomez, then to Cincinnati for Jay Bruce in a deal that fizzled Friday morning. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday and at NJ.com.

  • Travis d'Arnaud went 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts in his return from the DL. He last had played a major league game on June 20.

  • Manager Terry Collins expects Michael Cuddyer will begin a rehab assignment early next week and be activated from the DL next weekend at Tampa. Cuddyer primarily should play right field, with some first base, now that Cespedes has been acquired.

  • Bryce Harper, ejected in the 11th inning after arguing a called third strike, “needs to stay in the game,” Nats manager Matt Williams told D.C. media, James Wagner writes in The Washington Post.

  • Columnists Mike Vaccaro in the Post, David Lennon in Newsday and Bob Klapisch in the Record suggest Alderson has given Mets fans a reason to believe.

  • Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post summarizes the Mets this way: “After a half-decade of boredom in Flushing, the Mets are Must-See TV.”

  • Dan Martin in the Post gets reaction from Nats ace Max Scherzer to the acquisition of Cespedes.

  • David Wright is headed to Florida after the weekend and should begin minor league games soon thereafter. Read more in the Post, Newsday and Record.

  • Mike Puma in the Post reviews the Mets’ performance during a 13-12 July against tough opponents. He awards Curtis Granderson the MVP and Juan Lagares the LVP for the month.

  • Logan Verrett surrendered three first-inning runs and Las Vegas lost to Sacramento, 5-1. Seth Lugo, the Eastern League’s reigning pitcher of the week, surrendered all six runs as Richmond beat Binghamton, 6-1. Matt Oberste delivered a three-run homer to help St. Lucie earn a doubleheader split against Clearwater. Seth Davis surrendered a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 10th and Kingsport lost to Greeneville, 4-3. Manuel Hilario’s two-run single lifted Brooklyn past Batavia, 3-1. Read the full minor league recap here.

  • From the bloggers … Faith and Fear can't seem to stop watching the Mets. … After a miserable two days, Mets Report suggests Alderson rallied at the trade deadline with the Cespedes trade.

BIRTHDAYS: Gregg Jefferies turns 48. ... Brian Bohanon is 47.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

YOU’RE UP: How would you rate the Mets’ performance at the trade deadline?