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.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.