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.

Umpire ejects Adrian Beltre for moving on-deck circle

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As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.

Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.

Video: Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford hits an inside-the-park grand slam

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Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.

Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.

Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:

Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.

Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.