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Report: Astros acquire Francisco Liriano from the Blue Jays

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Update (2:22 PM ET): The minor leaguer the Jays are receiving is Teoscar Hernandez, per Davidi.

Hernandez, 24, put up a .724 OPS in 41 games in the big leagues last year. He’s spent just one game in the majors this year. With Triple-A Fresno, he’s hitting .279/.369/.485 with 12 home runs and 44 RBI in 347 plate appearances.

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The Blue Jays and Astros have an agreement on a trade involving starter Francisco Liriano, pending a physical, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports. The Jays will receive outfielder Nori Aoki and a minor leaguer in return, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart.

Liriano, 33, has struggled this year, owning a 5.88 ERA with a 74/43 K/BB ratio over 82 2/3 innings. His strikeout rate is at it slowest point since 2011 and he is inducing significantly fewer ground balls at 43.4 percent compared to his average of 49.1 percent. The Sabermetric-minded Astros, however, may feel he can be fixed with a move to the bullpen. Liriano is owed the remainder of his $13 million salary and can become a free agent after the season.

Aoki, 35, has hit .272/.323/.371 across 224 plate appearances this season with the Astros. He has split time in left field with Marwin Gonzalez and Josh Reddick, but he became expendable once the club called up Derek Fisher for a second time last week.

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.