A's sign Crisp to one-year deal with 2011 option

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Coco Crisp and the A’s were reportedly close to a deal over the weekend and they just made it official. He gets a one-year contract worth around $4.5 million and the A’s will have a team option for 2011.
When healthy Crisp is a solid starting center fielder, batting .266/.338/.390 while rating 20 runs above average defensively over the past three seasons, but he was limited to just 49 games in 2009 because of a shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery. Plus, in Rajai Davis and Ryan Sweeney the A’s already had a pair of capable center fielders who’re both significantly younger and cheaper than Crisp.
Perhaps after years of struggling offensively the A’s have decided to forget about scoring runs and simply trot out the best possible outfield defense, in which case a Davis-Crisp-Sweeney alignment would be amazing at keeping opponents off the board. Or maybe general manager Billy Beane just has another move on tap that involves Davis or Sweeney going somewhere for a bigger bat. Either way, I’m not sure that the 30-year-old Crisp is a particularly good fit in Oakland.

Clayton Kershaw could return on September 1

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Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.

Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.

Ian Kinsler was fined for ripping umpires publicly. Brad Ausmus says it’s the largest fine he’s seen in 25 years.

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Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.

After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”

Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”

As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.