Let the bidding begin: Hiroki Kuroda drawing trade interest

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Don’t get your hopes up. Unless something completely unexpected happens, your team isn’t going to acquire Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier or Clayton Kershaw. However, the Dodgers will surely be more than willing to trade away some other useful pieces before the deadline.

One major-league source tells Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com that “a lot of clubs” are already showing interest in right-hander Hiroki Kuroda.

In fact, the Reds and Rockies had scouts present at Kuroda’s most recent outing, though it’s not clear if they were there to see him in particular. We’ll see tons of teams getting linked to specific players based on information like this in the weeks to come, so just be prepared.

Kuroda, 36, is 5-9 through his first 16 starts this season, but has a very solid 3.10 ERA and 77/28 K/BB ratio over 101 2/3 innings. He has a 3.52 ERA since arriving stateside in 2008. For what it’s worth, that’s better than the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Verlander, John Danks and teammates Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly.

Kuroda is still owed around half of his $12 million salary for this season and would have to waive his full no-trade clause to complete a deal.

Video: Phillies rookies dance to “Greased Lightning”

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As per tradition, towards the end of the regular season, veterans on baseball’s various clubs haze the rookies by making them dress up and do something a bit embarrassing. That used to include things like making rookies dress up like women and carry pink backpacks, but Major League Baseball banned that practice, so veterans had to get marginally more creative.

The Phillies had their rookies — including Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, and Nick Williams — dress up like characters in Grease and perform “Greased Lightning” at their hotel in Atlanta on Friday night. Not only did the Phils’ vets and other members of the crew get a free show, but so did employees of the hotel and nearby hotel patrons.

Video with sound is not currently allowed to be embedded, so click here for that.

As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki explains, Hoskins was the inspiration for the gag as he has earned the nickname “Rhys Lightning.” (Rhys, for the uninitiated, rhymes with “Grease.”) Hoskins said, “You always hear about team chemistry. I think stuff like that let’s you get to know guys on a different level, when you’re not at the field. You just become more personable with people. The better relationships you have, there’s a different level of playing for each other. And I think that’s usually a sign of a good team.”

The Twins also had some fun at the rookies’ expense:

Video: Aaron Judge hits 47th, 48th homers, now one shy of tying Mark McGwire’s rookie record

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge went yard twice in Sunday afternoon’s 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays, bringing his season total up to 48. That leaves him just one home run shy of tying the single-season rookie record set by Mark McGwire with the Athletics in 1987.

After Sunday’s performance, Judge is hitting .281/.416/.610 with 48 home runs, 105 RBI, and 122 runs scored in 651 plate appearances. He has the AL Rookie of the Year Award on lock and is neck-and-neck with the Astros’ Jose Altuve, Chris Sale of the Red Sox, and the Indians’ Corey Kluber in the AL MVP Award race.