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.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: