Are the Padres asleep at the wheel?

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UPDATE: Obviously not.  The Padres have traded Mike Adams to the Rangers for left-hander Robbie Erlin and right-hander Joe Wieland.

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We know San Diego is about to shed Ryan Ludwick, but that’s likely to bring back a minimal return, probably from the Indians.  There hasn’t been anything hot and heavy on the bigger bait — Heath Bell, Mike Adams and Aaron Harang– with less than two hours left to go.

The Rangers likely took themselves out of the mix for both relievers by picking up Koji Uehara on Saturday, and the Angels have only minimal interest in Bell, a source told FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi.

It looks like the Cardinals and Phillies may be the best hope for the Padres to salvage the trade deadline.  The Cardinals are believed to be in on Bell, while the Phillies prefer Adams, who is cheaper in terms of salary and under control for 2012.

The New York Post’s Joel Sherman says the Yankees have inquired on Bell, who would take over as a setup man in front of Mariano Rivera, but there’s little optimism on a potential deal there.

The Red Sox might also be a long shot candidate to wind up with either Bell or Adams.  They wanted to address their rotation, but with Hiroki Kuroda declining to waive his no-trade and a Rich Harden trade falling through, they may try to bolster their pen instead.

As for Harang, it appears that the Padres are going to take their chances on re-signing him as a free eagent this winter.  FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal said he’s unlikely to be moved.

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.