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Rockies acquire Jonathan Lucroy from the Rangers

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The Rockies have acquired catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Rangers, Ken Rosenthal reports. The Rangers’ return is not yet known, but details should emerge shortly. (Update: It’s a player to be named later, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.)

Lucroy, 31, has now been traded in two consecutive seasons. The Rangers acquired him from the Brewers on August 1 last year. So far this season, Lucroy is batting .242/.297/.338 with four home runs and 27 RBI in 306 plate appearances. Production-wise, it’s his worst season since his rookie campaign in 2010.

Nevertheless, Lucroy should represent an upgrade behind the dish. Tony Wolters, who has had most of the playing time behind the plate, has a .651 OPS. Backups Dustin Garneau and Tom Murphy have a .613 and .236 OPS, respectively.

Lucroy is owed the remainder of his $5.25 million salary and can become a free agent after the season.

The Rockies, 59-45 entering Sunday night’s game against the Nationals, are 14 games back of the first-place Dodgers in the NL West, but are currently tied with the Diamondbacks for either of the two Wild Card slots.

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.