Juan Uribe “closing in on a three-year deal” with the Dodgers

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According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com the Dodgers are “closing in on a three-year deal” with Juan Uribe and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the contract is worth $21 million, which is remarkable for someone who had to settle for a minor-league contract in 2009 and then returned to the Giants on a one-year, $3.25 million deal this season.

Uribe didn’t have a particularly impressive season, hitting his usual .250 with a terrible on-base percentage and 20-homer power, but a player contributing a couple key hits on a World Series winner can make general managers do funny things.

He hit .266 with a .781 OPS in two seasons with the Giants, but prior to that he had a .718 career OPS that included a ghastly .295 on-base percentage.

Uribe is perhaps the heftiest shortstop in baseball history, but presumably the Dodgers plan to use him primarily at second base with Rafael Furcal around. That would mean not worrying so much about his glove declining during a contract that runs through his age-33 season–and could lead to the Dodgers non-tendering Ryan Theriot, which would be a good move–but Uribe’s bat is nothing special for a second baseman. His career OPS is essentially average for the position.

There’s a very good chance Ned Colletti and the Dodgers will regret this move.

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.